Staph infections - hospital

"Staph" (pronounced staff) is short for Staphylococcus. Staph is a germ (bacteria) that can cause infections in any part of the body, but most are skin infections. Staph can infect openings in the skin, like scratches, pimples, or skin cysts. Anyone can get a staph infection.

Hospital patients can get staph infections of the skin:

  • Anywhere a catheter or tube enters the body. This includes chest tubes, urinary catheters, IVs, or central lines
  • In surgical wounds, pressure sores (also called bed sores), or foot ulcers

Once the staph germ enters the body, it can spread to bones, joints, and the blood. It can also spread to any organ, such as the lungs, heart, or brain.

Staph can also spread from one person to another.


Steps for proper handwashing include: 1. Take off any jewelry. 2. Wet your hands with clean water. 3. Apply soap and lather your hands by rubbing them together for at least 20 seconds. 4. Make sure you also lather the back of the hands, between the fingers, the thumb, and under the nails. Rinse well. 5. Dry with a clean towel or air dry. Proper handwashing is the best way to avoid spreading germs to help prevent infection.

Staph Infections in the Hospital

What are Risk Factors for Staph Infection?

How Do You Know If You Have a Staph Infection?

Preventing Staph Infection in Hospitals