Smoking and non-surgical MRSA skin infections : is there a link?

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Nursing


Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) skin infections are becoming increasingly common and are the result of nearly 20,000 deaths in the United States each year. Although smoking has been linked to numerous infections including those that occur post-operatively, no one has ever linked the exposure to cigarette smoke to these types of infections. This study intended to examine the relationship between the two. Data was collected from patients in an Emergency Department with a history of non-surgical MRSA skin infections to determine what percentage of them smoked, smoked at the time of their infection or were exposed to smoke on a regular basis. Because of a small sample size and a flawed study design, a statistical analysis was not possible. However, it was discovered that over 63% of those with the infection were exposed to cigarette smoke in one form or another. The remaining 37% were nonsmokers or were not exposed to smoke on a regular basis. This indicates there may possibly be a link between the two but more research is needed in the area in order to establish a relationship.




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