CPR/First Aid Hands-on Training in Phoenix, Arizona

MRSA – Not Your Average Skin Infection

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*Warning – Graphic Pictures of MRSA Posted Below*

We haven’t blogged much over the last week… this is because, as the resident blogger at 123 CPR, I was in the hospital all week last week with my 6 month old baby. What started as a small spider bite turned into a full blown, serious case of MRSA. Here is our story so you can be aware and recognize the symptoms quickly should you ever come across it.


It all started on Friday night, June 6th. We noticed our son was more fussy than normal and, at his last diaper change of the evening we noticed two small bite marks on his right butt cheek. I immediately told my husband, “There’s two marks.. that’s a spider bite.” I took his temperature which was normal, fed him a bottle, and put him to bed. First thing Saturday morning I checked his diaper. The bite had turned into what looked like a small red blister. I immediately started giving him plenty of naked time and warm baths to soak it and then air it out to speed the healing. But, by Saturday night.. the blister was surrounded by a small pink inflamed ring. The whole area was about the size of a golf ball. Still no fever.


Sunday morning, we awoke to find that the bite had doubled in size and formed a white head. Our son now, for the first time, had a fever. Low grade – 99.8. But we also noticed on Sunday morning that he had popped his first tooth! This fever could have been from teething… or the bite… or both. Regardless, just to be safe, in addition to the baths and the naked time, we took him to urgent care. We tried Phoenix Children’s Urgent care but, long story short, we ended up at a regular Urgent Care where they misdiagnosed him. They didn’t drain the area; they marked the 6cm x 5cm area with a marker and they gave him an antibiotic “Cephalex” which, we didn’t know at the time, did absolutely nothing for him.


Monday morning we awoke and saw that the skin infection had grown outside the boundaries of the marker. We text the picture to a friend of ours who works for his pediatrician and they recommended going straight to the hospital. We did and, upon my request, they drained the area and cultured it (which was HORRIBLE.. he cried like I have never seen him cry before) and they put him on an antibiotic called “Bactrim” and sent us home. We later found out that Bactrim, unless prescribed at the right time and at a heavy concentration, does nothing for MRSA.

The low grade fever continued and on Tuesday we woke up to tooth number 2! Another reason for the continued fever we thought? We monitored the area, continued with warm compresses, baths, naked time, etc. But the skin closed itself back off and the fever began to rise.

Wednesday, we went to our pediatrician who, upon my request, drained the area a second time. He noticed that the skin infection was not responding to any of the treatments so he sent us to the pediatric unit at Thunderbird Hospital in Phoenix, AZ where they FINALLY admitted us.


At Thunderbird, they drained the area a THIRD TIME, cultured the area AGAIN, did an ultra sound to find how deep the infection went, started him on IV antibiotics of “Clindamycin” and ran some standard blood screens. All came back positive for MRSA. I was terrified to say the least, “Isn’t that the flesh eating bacteria I have heard about on the news?” I asked the doctor. I began to explain how clean we were, how we did all the compresses, baths, naked time, how we used gloves to change his diapers when we discovered the infection and how we always wash our hands… our nurse told us that this was SO common with children under 1 year old, that our bodies come into contact with MRSA every day but when it gets into a cut, our bodies sometimes can’t fight it off.


Thursday rolled around, he was still not responding to the antibiotics and they were talking surgery. They told us to give it another 24 hours of compresses, drainings, and IV’s.


Sure enough, Friday morning (7 days from the day he was bitten) he woke up and had FINALLY taken to the antibiotics. The infection had gone down dramatically and he did not need surgery. He is now home on oral doses of clindamycin and recovering slowly but surely.


All the doctors praised us for how proactive we were from the beginning. They said many parents come in thinking its a rash and have let it go on for a week before realizing something is horribly wrong. Moral of the story – don’t wait! You have seen the pictures, you know what it looks like! You can never be too safe! Below is an article about preventing and treating MRSA within us and our children. Please give it a read, it will only take you 5 more minutes and it could help you prevent a story like ours.