Most commonly the symptoms of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) will present on the skin. It can be in the form of an abscess, rash, boil, bumps, or impetigo and is often accompanied with flu-like symptoms.
When it is in the heart or lungs it can cause chest pain. If there was surgery in the chest area, it may become infected with MRSA bacteria during the procedure and the infection will cause additional pain. A medical exam will be necessary to determine if the chest pain is from a MRSA infection or from another cause so it can be diagnosed and treated.
What are the symptoms?
Once MRSA bacteria enter the body, it will cause different symptoms than when it only is on the skin. If the infection is not treated promptly it will spread to other parts of the body. When this happens there will be additional symptoms like chest pain and headaches. The bacteria can travel to the lungs and to the heart, which can become life threatening and should be treated promptly. The pain may be from coughing, lack of oxygen, heart strain, or inflammation.
When there has been surgery in the chest area, if proper MRSA precautions weren’t followed, it could result in an infection. If there was a prosthetic device implanted, like a portacath, the plastic on the device could become imbedded with bacteria.
In addition to MRSA, there could be other causes of chest pain so an exam by a healthcare professional will be necessary.
Chest Pain Causes
Chest pain could be a symptom of something as simple as heartburn or life threatening like a heart attack. In addition to a MRSA infection, chest pain can be a symptom of the following:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
- Acid reflex
- Heart attack
A doctor will need to evaluate the signs and symptoms to diagnose the cause. When the cause is from MRSA spreading to the lungs or heart, it will need to be treated without delay.
How is it Treated?
The location of the infection will need to be determined through tests and evaluating the symptoms. Different MRSA antibiotics may need to be prescribed to treat pneumonia, which is when this infection is in the heart lining, or other infection in the chest. Hospitalization and monitoring will often be necessary until the infection is under control. Surgery may be needed to remove infected tissue or repair damage if the MRSA infection originated from a surgical procedure. When it is from an implanted device, the prosthetic may need to be removed and replaced.
Preventing a MRSA infection is the best way to avoid chest pains which is caused by it. Being aware of the symptoms so that treatment can begin promptly will prevent it from spreading to other parts of the body and cause chest pain. A strong immune system will also help prevent this type of staph infection.