MRSA kills Virginia teen

It used to be that MRSA, or methicillin resistant staph aureus, a bacteria, was the rarely even seen. It was talked about as a hospital acquired illness and patients were usually elderly with many complicating medical problems. Unfortunately, now, it's being seen more and more commonly. (image credit)

The Associated Press is reporting that Ashton Bonds, a 17 year old Virginia high school student, died yesterday after being diagnosed with MRSA last week. Officials closed down 21 schools for cleaning to prevent spread of the bacteria.

Many of the infections are being spread in gyms and locker rooms, where athletes — perhaps suffering from cuts or abrasions — share sports equipment. Ashton Bonds played football last year but was not playing this season.

Ashton went to Bedford Memorial Hospital on Oct. 4 after complaining of pain in his side, his mother said. He was sent home after doctors ruled out appendicitis, but was readmitted three days later and transported to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

Last week doctors diagnosed Ashton with a MRSA infection that had spread to his kidneys, liver, lungs and the muscles around his heart.

Early Thursday morning, Ashton had to be sedated and put on a ventilator. He was about to undergo surgery to drain the infection from his lungs when doctors detected a blood clot near his heart. Bonds said the clot was inoperable.

In my community, of course, we're not having tragic outcomes like this one. But, when looking at emergency room visits, community acquired MRSA infections are becoming more and more common. Almost every patient coming from a nursing home to the ER with an infection is assumed to have MRSA until proven otherwise.

This is becoming a major problem. MRSA is no longer a problem of the big cities and big university hospitals. It's occurring more and more in grassroots America. So, next time you have an infection that's not going away, don't ignore it - Have it checked out...