Have you had MRSA? Your CPAP might have it too!


By MATP Staff Member Aimee Sterk

Since having MRSA four times this summer, I’ve learned a lot more about the bug and cleaning than I ever knew I needed to know. An urgent care doc informed me that 5 years ago, about 5% of abscesses they saw were positive for MRSA, now it is more like 70%. In asking around and talking to friends, I found 3 other friends had recently battled it themselves or their kids had it. Working in the disability field, and having several disabilities myself, I wanted to mount a serious battle against this bacteria, so I asked for a referral to an infectious disease doc after my second round of MRSA.

The infectious disease doc recommended I bathe in a bleach bath twice weekly or take a hibiclens shower twice weekly and also told me to wipe down high touch areas in the bathroom with Clorox wipes. He said I should wash my sheets weekly and wash towels twice weekly in hot water. I did all these things and still got MRSA again. I had to go on some powerful antibiotics for a month.

I  learned from the infectious disease doc that MRSA likes warm, moist environments. Then, while visiting local medical establishments at several locations, I noticed that they had filled in all of the fountains at with dirt and potted plants. I asked one of the hospital staff members if that was because of MRSA—it was.

This got me thinking. MRSA colonizes on the skin and in your nose. I had completed a round of nasal antibiotics, but every night I used a cpap that has—warm, moist air. I called the Respironics Cpaprespiratory therapist who helped me pick out my CPAP and asked if the hibiclens I was using to clean my body and CPAP was enough. He did a little research and informed me that MRSA forms a biofilm on items and needs a cleaning method with scrubbing action or a formula specifically designed to clean it. He had worked in home care and knew Control III   fit the bill. Since then, I have been cleaning my CPAP weekly with Control III and haven’t had another outbreak.

Control III is kind of expensive, so if you cannot afford it, check with your doctor or respiratory therapist about bleach solutions and scrubbing options.

Here’s to battling the superbug MRSA together!


What do you think? Let us know!