How Clean is Your Gym? What do Trainers and Coaches Really Know About MRSA?
Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections are rampantly spreading in gyms, locker rooms, and athletic facilities. Staphylococcus aureus (staph) is a common bacterium that causes a wide range of illnesses, from mild skin infections to more serious systemic infections including, fatal bacteremia, necrotizing pneumonia, and necrotizing fasciitis. MRSA is a virulent staph infection that has a resistance to many different antibiotics which makes it extremely
difficult to treat.
- 92% of the athletic trainers indicated that MRSA was a problem, but only 57% perceived MRSA as a problem in their gym.
- 88% of trainers reported working with an athlete with a skin or limb infection, of these infections 75% were thought to be staphylococcal infection, and 57% were MRSA infections that were diagnosed by a physician.
- 50% of trainers reported American football as the most common sport of athletes treated for MRSA infections.
- 42% of trainers reported the most common locations for MRSA infections were the regions of the lower leg or feet.
- 42% of trainers stated the reason they chose to use certain cleaning products in their gym was conventional wisdom, not CDC recommendations for cleaning and disinfection.
- 35% of trainers indicated that they frequently washed their hands, while 32% admitted they only washed their hands sometimes.
- 32% of trainers used an alcohol based hand sanitizer only sometimes before/after working with an athlete, and only 29% used sanitizer frequently after each athlete.
- 30% of trainers failed to correctly identify cleaning solutions for appropriate hygiene and disinfection.
- 83% of trainers stated that they had manual dispensers for soap and alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- 10% of trainers did not know that whirlpools could be a virulent source of MRSA infection.
- 14% of trainers stated that they cleaned whirlpools after each use (the CDC recommends all whirlpools must be clean after each user, no exceptions).
- 14% of trainers reported that they adhered to the CDC recommendations for appropriate disinfection .