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Staph screening is a test to find out if you're a staph carrier. Staphylococcus aureus (staph) is a type of bacteria that can cause infections. A carrier is a person who has the bacteria on their skin but who isn't sick. The test is done by swabbing the inside of your nose.
Staph bacteria normally live on the skin and in the nose. In most cases, they don't cause problems. They only become a problem when they cause infection. The infection is more likely to be serious in people who are weak or ill or who are being treated in the hospital.
A staph screen may be done before your surgery to find out if you are a carrier for the bacteria.
Staph infections are more likely to occur in burns or wounds. This includes places on the body where tubes enter or where the doctor makes cuts (incisions) in the skin. Staph bacteria can cause serious infection where they enter the body. The infection can sometimes spread to other places such as the joints or the heart.
Some types of staph bacteria are resistant to many antibiotics. One example is MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).
A clean cotton swab will be used to collect a sample from the inside of the nose.
The test will take a few seconds. The results will be ready in a few days.
Staph screening results will be ready before your surgery day.
If the test shows that you are a carrier, you will be treated to prevent an infection. The doctor:
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to keep a list of the medicines you take. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your test results.
Adaptation Date: 3/2/2022
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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