Blass and Hofmeyer Policy Paper

Amy Blass & Wendy Hofmeyer

Policy Paper

MRSA is a Stapholococcus aureus bacteria that is resistant to commonly used antibiotics, such as methicillin, and may cause many different types of infections throughout the body (2). MRSA outbreaks usually were associated with health care institutions, but now they are emerging as a cause of skin infections in the community setting (4). Due to the fact that MRSA is resistant to many commonly used antibiotics it is imperative to prevent the spread of disease. Recent data has provided evidence to show Americans go to the Doctor around 12 million times a year to be tested for MRSA (2). Severe MRSA infections are preferably treated through intravenous therapy causing increased health care costs due to more hospital bills acquired by the patient (5). MRSA is a threat to many kinds of athletes because it is spread through direct contact between two people, or through sharing of the same piece of athletic equipment (1). Athletes are at increased risk of acquiring this disease because they commonly share items/surfaces that come into direct contact, and are more susceptible to breaks in the skin causing excellent portals of entry for bacteria (1).

Our policy is going to be enforced hoping the number of cases of MRSA infections declines, and thus decreases health care costs and worries among patients
A) This policy calls for high schools in the state of Iowa to start a program requiring all athletes to wipe down their weight lifting equipment after single person use. In order for this policy to be enforced there must be a coach in the weight room at all times, during open hours of the facility to watch for the disinfectant of the equipment. Each coach will be responsible only for his or her own team. After each coach’s shift they must sign out providing evidence of how many of their athletes failed to comply with the new program.
B) The CDC recommends using Clorox liquid bleach for disinfectant purposes. The disinfectant solution recommended is a 1:10 ratio of bleach to water (6). Our plan includes using a 96 oz. just of Clorox liquid bleach, with the prediction that each school will use 5 jugs a year. One 96 oz. jug costs $3.49 at Wal-mart making a running total of $17.49/year for each school.
C) If an athlete fails to clean his/her weights after each use the coach will implement a one-week suspension from the weight room facility. Each team accomplishing this task for one full month of weight room use will be rewarded with a day off from practice.
D) The cost of this program would merely include the cost of disinfectants and towels used, and would be covered under the government funding provided to each high school by the state. The disinfectants used will be products containing what is needed for the destruction of MRSA and are registered by the EPA (3).

Some people may try to argue the enforcement plan for this policy is not strict enough and it will never work. Our hope is for coaches to have enough passion for their sport that they will not want to skip a day of practice, thus they will make sure they keep a close watch to see equipment getting cleaned. If it did not the coach would end up not losing a day of practice and so he will strive to make sure the truth is put forth for this program. Another argument might be that schools, especially in smaller towns, do not have the kind of funding to pay for this policy implementation. Each student involved in athletics will cover the policy cost. Each student will pay a small additional charge to their athletic fees to cover the disinfectants. A third argument towards our policy could be that it is corrosive to the equipment with an end result of needing new equipment. Clorox liquid bleach, as seen on the label, contains a corrosion inhibitor protecting the equipment. Our policy should still be enforced even with these arguments because without it there is even less of a chance the equipment will be cleaned and more of a chance of MRSA being spread. The benefits of this policy would be much too great to not even give it a shot. Student athletes would stay healthier, the spread of MRSA would be prevented, and health care costs for the individual would be contained.

1) “About Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) Among Athletes” Nov. 2008. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 20 September 2009.
2) “National MRSA Education Initiative: Preventing MRSA Skin Infections” Sept. 2008. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 20 September 2009.
3) “Environment Management of Staph and MRSA in Community Settings” July 2008. Center for Disease control and Prevention. 20 September 2009.
4) “Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Infections Among Competitive Sports Participants —- Colorado, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Los Angeles County, 2000-2003” Aug 2003. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 21 September 2009.
5) “Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) Information for Clinicians” Sept 2005. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 21 September 2009.
6) “Comprehensive Procedures for Collecting Environmental Samples for Culturing Bacillus Anthracis” April 2002. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 28 September 2009.
7) Wal-mart

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