The Organization for Safety & Asepsis Procedures (OSAP) has created an online informational resource on Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the "superbug" that can cause life-threatening infections. The Web site www.osap.org will be constantly updated to ensure that dental professionals have the information and resources necessary to ensure the safety of their patients and themselves in the face of MRSA.
MRSA is a potentially deadly version of a common bacterium that causes pimples, boils, sinus infection, and, in rare cases, meningitis and blood infections. Even healthy people can carry MRSA on their skin, but it can turn deadly when it enters the bloodstream. The organism sickens more than 90,000 Americans each year and kills nearly 19,000. News of the rise in MRSA infections has been widely reported in the media, and consumer advocates have called for testing all new hospital patients for MRSA. The US Senate recently passed an amendment to provide funds to identify and suppress its spread.
Two recent studies have explored the possibility that aerosols and spatter generated during dental treatments may spread MRSA, so dental practitioners should be informed about MRSA and its spread.