Climbing Related Staph Infections

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 70 of total 70 in this topic
roadkillphil

Trad climber
Colorado
Topic Author's Original Post - Dec 7, 2012 - 02:37pm PT
I recently came down with a case of non MRSA Staph aureus bacteremia/sepsis. It centered in my spine and sternoclavicular areas resulting in a couple weeks in hospital and a few surgeries to drain abscesses and relieve spinal cord pressure. (So I am told...was pretty out of it and there's 3-4 days that are missing for me). Nobody can pin down the source exactly, but I had been doing alot of crack climbing in SoDak and Colo and beat up my hands pretty good-poor technique for sure.
I have seen references to this in a gym situation, but I rarely climb inside.
Looking at 8 weeks or more of IV antibiotics plus open wound treatments and regaining good use/strength in my left leg and bladder.
Wonder if anyone else has run across this?
Might make a case for using fresh tape and washing hands and etc post climbing. Or just the luck of the draw.
labrat

Trad climber
Nevada City, CA
Dec 7, 2012 - 02:39pm PT
Ouch!

Heal up soon.
Erik
10b4me

Boulder climber
Somewhere on 395
Dec 7, 2012 - 02:47pm PT
well, hope you get better.
I once climbed with a nurse in Jtree, she told me she always taped for cracks becaus of the micro organisms living in there.
John M

climber
Dec 7, 2012 - 02:52pm PT
Yowzer.. I hope you heal up soon.

Nobody can pin down the source exactly, but I had been doing alot of crack climbing in SoDak and Colo and beat up my hands pretty good-poor technique for sure.

I don't understand the process. Does this mean that the staph possibly entered a cut on your hands and traveled to your back where it caused the abscesses?
ELM !

climber
Near Boston
Dec 7, 2012 - 03:01pm PT
Pretty unlikely you got something unique climbing.
Did you recently have any respiratory infections? Cold etc.?
Holdplease2

Big Wall climber
Yosemite area
Dec 7, 2012 - 03:03pm PT
Pretty sure a friend of mine got MRSA from running up and down the high-traffic minitraxion lines in the valley. Why not? People showing up every weekend and grinding holes in their skin at the same "hold" in a crack. Makes perfect sense, even moreso at the gym. Initial lesion was on the back of his hand, then it kept cropping up in other places until he finally beat it with months of antibiotics, garlic, iodine and other stuff.

Kate
roadkillphil

Trad climber
Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 7, 2012 - 03:16pm PT
From what I have read, Staph is ubiquitous in the environment and lives on the skin of about everybody. It will enter the body through a break in the skin, but why it happens to go wild at times is unclear.
No recent colds, etc. And not climbing specific I would think.
My girlfriend helpfully pointed out that up to 20% of the population are non-symptomatic carriers, and the favorite place of residence is the nose/nasal passages; so maybe now I will finally quit picking my nose!
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Dec 7, 2012 - 03:34pm PT
I don't understand the process. Does this mean that the staph possibly entered a cut on your hands and traveled to your back where it caused the abscesses?

Where it pops up is not related to where it enters.
Karen

Trad climber
So Cal urban sprawl Hell
Dec 7, 2012 - 03:40pm PT
I ended up with a horrid case of MRSA and I blame it on an indoor gym. The original M.D. misdiagnosed it as a spider bite and of course, it only got worse and ended up spreading to other areas of my body. It took months to get ride of, just when one area would heal, it would manifest itself on another part of my body. A nasty infection to say the least!!!!

Super paranoid now and if I notice what appears to be a so-called spider bite on any of my friends, I make sure it does not increase in size.

Sorry to hear what you had to go through!!!
Texplorer

Trad climber
Sacramento
Dec 7, 2012 - 03:44pm PT
You are right Phil. Staph is literally everywhere. Every person has staph and step bacteria on their skin.

Anytime you have a break in skin you provide an entry point for bacteria. Since staph and strep are the most common bugs that live on your skin it is not surprising that they are the most common skin infections.

With almost every cut/abrasion there likely invasion of these bacteria but most of the time our bodies are able to fight them off. There are many variants of staph that vary in their resistance to antibiotics and vary in their virulence. The virulence and number of bacteria that get into a wound as well as your bodies ability to fight infection determine how fast your body fights off the bacteria or if it actually invades and moves to other parts of your body.

Most people do not know that the typical staph that lives on the surface of our bodies can be life threatening if it gets into our bodies. Just goes to show how amazing our bodies are at keeping these things out.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Dec 7, 2012 - 03:51pm PT
I had something similar, but not as serious, a few years ago. The infected area was my elbow. I had scratched up the back of my arm and shoulder chicken-winging in a sleeveless shirt a few days previous, but thought nothing of it at the time.

The cuts were all healed when the infection developed; it was entirely internal. The pain was pretty bad---just the touch bedsheets on my elbow at night was excruciating. I was on antibiotics for more than a month and the doc was just on the verge of operating when the infection settled down and then cleared up.

The experience made me a little paranoid; I now carry some Bactine in my climbing pack and gym bag and apply it to any cuts and scratches as soon as possible.
Texplorer

Trad climber
Sacramento
Dec 7, 2012 - 03:58pm PT
Got this little beauty when I took a nice 30fter on the crux pitch of the NA wall. Fully ripped a screamer during the fall too.

Ended up with a drug resistant staph (MRSA) and had to take over 2 months of antibiotics. Still have pain from this thing over 3 months later.
NA Wall Wound
NA Wall Wound
Credit: Texplorer
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Dec 7, 2012 - 04:08pm PT
This is a fascinating talk which sheds light on how we can have pathogenic bacteria on and in our bodies but other bacteria keep them at bay. Great new insights into immunity.

http://www.ted.com/talks/bonnie_bassler_on_how_bacteria_communicate.html
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Dec 7, 2012 - 04:09pm PT
Quick treatment of cuts is imperative in preventing staph infection. Surfing in the tropics where you get coral cuts that infect very quickly taught me the best way is to trim away any flappers cleaning out any particles, and then flush out the cut or wound with hydrogen peroxide, then cover with heavy coat of antibiotic cream and bandage. Keep changing out the bandage and adding more cream whenever it gets wet or possibly dirty. To be safe, you have to be aggressive in your treatment. These new germs are out there on frequented routes and in the climbing gyms, beware! Maybe taping up is the best medicine.
fgw

climber
portland, or
Dec 7, 2012 - 04:42pm PT
had "one of those" too. my elbow swelled & I thought I had the flu for like 3 or 4 days. Took me a while & a visit to a Dr. to realize that flu & elbow swelling were symptoms of the same infection. this was at the end of a climbing trip to red rocks.
Captain...or Skully

climber
Dec 7, 2012 - 04:45pm PT
Some folks don't get those. I've had thousands of cuts & scrapes, gobies, & what not, & I never worry about them. Tape it up & drive on. If it kills me, then I'll be dead.
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Dec 7, 2012 - 04:54pm PT
I remember climbing cracks without tape for a long, long time during the late 70s and getting quite a few impact abrasions on the back of my hands where I hung off them jamming. However, when I got back down to the Bay one winter I developed warts on the back of my hands in the same locations where I had had the cuts and abrasions earlier. Had to have them burned off by the family GP. Sure sounds as thought the virus that produces warts got started in the wounds on the back of my hands. I've heard of this before too. Someone told me that Ron Kauk had a bunch of warts on the back of his hands he had to have burned off too.

So tape up, wear crack mits or (better) don't get cuts on the back of your hands crack climbing because your technique is so darn good you never get cuts or "gobees" (sp?!).
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Dec 7, 2012 - 05:11pm PT
I used to laugh at climbers who used tape (yeah, I was a cocky sob...)

These days, pushing 60, the backs of my hands are fried from sun exposure and wear and tear and I can't even climb a 5.10 crack without breaking the skin somewhere. Tape has become a routine for me.

Didn't RV have a nasty staph infection, hospitalized and all, a few years ago? I remember seeing him in Josh shortly after and he looked like he just got out of the gulag.

I am convinced that eating probiotic foods like raw milk and fermented raw sauerkraut, and even taking a supplement like PB8 when under stress really helps your immune system fight off pathogenic bacteria like staph.
atgoett

climber
earth
Dec 7, 2012 - 05:19pm PT
f * # k mrsa. you dont want that shit! especially if you're older or have pre-existing medical conditions. I came down with it the day before I left for a three month trip. Still took the trip, climbed a lot, but it sucked being sick the whole time.

A lot of infection prevention comes down to practicing good hygiene, which can be harder when living the dirtbag lifestyle. everybody remember to clean up good!
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Dec 7, 2012 - 05:32pm PT
You can't get a vaccination for staph, but you can for tetanus. Given what climbers do, a regular (~5 years?) tetanus shot is a very good idea.
eKat

Trad climber
BackInTheDitch BackInTheDirt BackInTheDay
Dec 7, 2012 - 05:39pm PT
This is a fascinating talk which sheds light on how we can have pathogenic bacteria on and in our bodies but other bacteria keep them at bay. Great new insights into immunity.

YAY, TED!

TFPU!

She was ELECTRIC!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Dec 7, 2012 - 05:40pm PT
Not exactly Climbing Related, but Falling (while climbing) Related:

I broke my leg (and other stuff) back in 1978, and eventually had a tubular rod inserted to skewer my tibia together. The rod was a little too long and eventually broke through the skin below my kneecap. Got a non-MR SA there, fixed with IV antibiotics.

My friend/partner Steph broke her leg (more badly) a couple of years ago and had it put together with a plate and screws. An open wound resulted in a MRSA, so they had to jerk out all the hardware and she got a central line (perma-IV from armpit to just above heart, where the blood flux is enough to handle the toxic antibacterial) for awhile - sounded pretty nasty. Fortunately the bones had healed together just enough at that point so she didn't have to get a new plate/screws.
mikeyschaefer

climber
Yosemite
Dec 7, 2012 - 05:41pm PT
I got a staph infection in my finger last year while putting up a new route in Patagonia. I was amazed at the speed in wich the infection came on. It went from being kinda red and irritated to a giant swollen looking grape in under 24hrs. Definitely one of the most painful things I've ever experienced. I started to get another infection in a different finger only a couple weeks after my first infection but treated with anti-biotics before it got to out of hand.

ouch!
ouch!
Credit: mikeyschaefer
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Dec 7, 2012 - 06:47pm PT
Some folks don't get those. I've had thousands of cuts & scrapes, gobies, & what not, & I never worry about them. Tape it up & drive on. If it kills me, then I'll be dead.

Well, up until I got the infection, I would have said the same thing. And with 50+ years of climbing in at the time, and with a totally cavalier attitude towards minor wounds, I'm guessing I ignored a lot more cuts and scrapes.

The docs were very close to operating on my elbow. If the infection got too far, it would have meant amputation of my arm, so note that there are unpleasant eventualities short of death. Even without that outcome, there was a real possibility of reduced function after the operation, that would have made climbing much harder and conceivably impossible.

None of this came to pass; the antibiotics finally worked. And I'm not now even close to fanatic about cleaning, triming, irrigating, and bandaging minor wounds. But a little squirt of Bactine or some other easily-carried topical antiseptic, very soon after the injury, seems like a reasonable precaution that can't hurt and might just make a difference.
Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
I'm James Brown, Bi-atch!
Dec 7, 2012 - 07:01pm PT
mtn biking = road rash city if you ride full shred.

hot bath and a small bottle of booze, get a buzz and then grab a toothbrush and some soap scrub the hell out of the gash, pour a little booze on it if there is any left,

then add hi priced fda certified grease,


be careful getting out of the tub, i passed out once and fell straight back into the water which broke my fall except my head which bounced off the white porcelan like a ripe coconut,
could have drowned but all the water was on the floor,
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Dec 7, 2012 - 07:04pm PT
For cuts and scrapes to hands and wrists, simple thorough hand washing always pays off, whether it's in terms of infection, GI disease, or otherwise. Dirt bagging is fine, but clean hands once or twice a day are a good thing. I always volunteer to wash dishes in camp, and do a thorough job of them, and my hands.
Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
I'm James Brown, Bi-atch!
Dec 7, 2012 - 07:09pm PT
if you are a true dirtbagger then you automatically will be immune to 98 percent of normal human afflictions, there will be crap under your fingernails from relieving yourself third world style, there will be crust on your nut sack from not having had a shower in 3 years, but think of all the TP these guys save, ive been classified as a "carrier" so no more gym.
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
Dec 7, 2012 - 07:32pm PT
A few months ago I was climbing at Stoney Point and decided to play around on the off width left of the beehive. I normally tape up but didn't this time. After a few laps I called it a day but not before thoroughly trashing my hands. I noticed some old blood dried on the inside of the crack while climbing it but chalked up and carried on, it did cross my mind that this may cause issues with infection but ignored my hunch. Big mistake. I have never had such infected and painful sores from climbing than I did from the ones I received that day. They took forever to heal and required antibiotics to get rid of the infection. Unless unavoidable I will be taping up from now on, it just ain't worth it.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Dec 7, 2012 - 07:39pm PT
How long can blood, outside the body, remain an epidemiological hazard? That is, before exposure to weather and sun (UV) render it neutral? What about other human products? Is there an epidemiologist in the house who can help with this?

I suspect that we bring most of anything we get with us, e.g. our own skin bacteria getting ground in and so on. Or that we catch ambient bacteria that are in the soil, cracks etc naturally. But I'd happily learn more.
Captain...or Skully

climber
Dec 7, 2012 - 09:32pm PT
I dunno, Rich. That's just how it seems to go.
So far so good, I guess.
Some of those things look heinous!
I haven't been in a Hosital since '95, when I got rescued.(arrggh)
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Dec 7, 2012 - 09:43pm PT
I know of two individuals who have experienced similar infections, basicly destroying them for a good couple of years, then clearing up with treatment.

edit: I should be more clear. both times the infection was introduced in surgery, and both wound up effecting the patients central nervous system. It took much time to properly diagnose, leading to the long period of effect How that relates to your condition I don't know but when you said "spinal column" it raised a red flag. good luck with it.
Gilroy

Social climber
Boulderado
Dec 7, 2012 - 10:32pm PT
Thought it was common knowledge that, especially when climbing cracks, you're not just climbing with your partner. You are climbing with anyone who has climbed that crack before.

Ought to be a poster in the gyms' bathrooms.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Dec 8, 2012 - 12:58am PT
It's the same for any face hold in a climbing gym Gilroy.

I want to add some extra ick about what climbers touch. (a subject of it's own, HAHAHAHA)

Lots of guys have a piss in the change room during that awesome sesh at CliffWankers or any other climbing gym. They then sprint to the plastic and pull down.

What gets transferred from the change room urinal's floor to the climbing holds by way of climbing shoes ?

Hmmmmm... I think climbing gyms are fun but just like eating in a restaurant or going to a movie, suspended disbelief is best.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Dec 8, 2012 - 01:17am PT
How long can blood, outside the body, remain an epidemiological hazard? That is, before exposure to weather and sun (UV) render it neutral? What about other human products? Is there an epidemiologist in the house who can help with this?


I believe that hepatitis B has been found in an infectious state in egyptian mummies. It is very hard to kill.

Bacteria are easily killed, in contrast. usually minutes or hours.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Dec 8, 2012 - 01:26am PT
Just a comment on what a number of people have mentioned re: treatment of open wounds. Current thinking:

After stopping bleeding (direct pressure only),

Flush with water---lots. A gallon is a good amount. You want to flush the dirt out-that has more to do with whether there will be an infection of not. Urine actually works for this. Then,

Clean with plain soap and water. any soap. Shampoo or dish soap works.
Do not scrub, which causes more damage.

DO NOT POUR ANTISEPTIC CHEMICALS INTO THE WOUND. Iodine, alcohol, betadine, or anything else. they all have been PROVEN to INCREASE infections and delay healing.

topical antibiotic ointment...bacitratin probably best, then gauze.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Dec 8, 2012 - 01:42am PT
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/456300
moosedrool

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Dec 8, 2012 - 01:53am PT
After my steph infection (I got it in the gym, nothing serious, just 10 days on anibiotic) I carry a small can of liquid-aid. It is a really good product.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Dec 8, 2012 - 02:00am PT
roadkillphil, I have extensive experience with Staph infections, Strep infections, Sepsis Syndrome, and full-blown Septic Shock (think, cumulatively over the last 55 years, maybe three years spent inpatient. I've never actually done the math.) Sounds like you'll be on the drip for some time. Are they going to cut you loose from the hospital with a PICC line in and use a home-health nursing service?
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Dec 8, 2012 - 02:39am PT
Ken M.

"Urine actually works for this".

Do you mean fresh from the font ? What about stuff picked up along the way and added to holds from shoes in a sticky mixture ?

I'm not being an ass about this. I have a WCB level 2 FA cert and I'm always trying to better understand guck and it's consequences.
Rolfr

Social climber
North Vancouver BC
Dec 8, 2012 - 02:57am PT
Mickeyshaefer, I sure like the pun, " treated before it got out of hand " with the accompanying photo. Good sick humour!
matisse

climber
Dec 8, 2012 - 03:03am PT
Ken I gotta modify the do not scrub advice. If there is embedded dirt/ gravel etc you do have to scrub until you get it out, otherwise you end up with a tattoo in the scar..
Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
I'm James Brown, Bi-atch!
Dec 8, 2012 - 05:40am PT
this sounds like a john tesh thread,
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 8, 2012 - 09:21am PT
Holy Moley, Phil! Right there in Hill City!!?

I have actually heard of an uncomfortable amount of similar events.

When my mojo rises I'll send some info about a related case, though it was at first written off as a San Joaquin valley fever variant (endemic to rural Utah, btw!!)

Platinum rob got an almost lethal infection in an existing wound that encountered "the leach fields at the base of el cap"

Another friend here in Moab had a similar el cap related experience that ended up involving, out patient iv antibiotics multiple times a day and removal of necrotic tissue.

Crazy sh#t.
Heal up Phil, we still have bad craziness ahead of us to inflict on an increasingly less unsuspecting world!!


"Steph infection " - moose?
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 8, 2012 - 09:28am PT
Scuffy got an infected nodule on his knee on mother superior that festered into a watermelon sized(okay that's an exaggeration) karbuncle that exploded a few weeks later on chingando, in a maelstrom of pus 'n blood. That made his light colored thrift store pants appear to have been epicenter for an amputation. Getting a scream of horror from his hard as nails belayer! I was glad to have put the rope up and not be in need of a TR that day, I'll tell you!!
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Dec 8, 2012 - 09:39am PT
Do you mean fresh from the font ? What about stuff picked up along the way and added to holds from shoes in a sticky mixture ?

I'm not being an ass about this. I have a WCB level 2 FA cert and I'm always trying to better understand guck and it's consequences.

I mean fresh, which is a sterile liquid.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Dec 8, 2012 - 09:47am PT
Ken I gotta modify the do not scrub advice. If there is embedded dirt/ gravel etc you do have to scrub until you get it out, otherwise you end up with a tattoo in the scar..

You DO have to get the stuff out, but the damage caused by scrubbing makes me shy away from it, except in the most severe circumstances, and those should not be self-cleaned while drunk.

I far prefer to use pressure irrigation. In ER's in which I've worked or run, my preference was a Water-Pic. There is very little a gallon/two of that won't remove, with little damage. The poor man's version would be a hose, or water poured from a bottle from a height of a couple of feet. Very little tissue damage, and FAR less pain. Of course, I always anesthetize such wounds. I also like using a wet-to-dry dressing technic for removing debris over time, which is very effective for removing the junk.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Dec 8, 2012 - 09:59am PT
We had a pretty good discussion on this subject back about four years ago. "Bacterial infections in the Valley". Here is the link:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=695982&tn=0&mr=0
The user formerly known as stzzo

climber
Sneaking up behind you
Dec 8, 2012 - 12:27pm PT
I far prefer to use pressure irrigation. In ER's in which I've worked or run, my preference was a Water-Pic. There is very little a gallon/two of that won't remove, with little damage. The poor man's version would be a hose, or water poured from a bottle from a height of a couple of feet.

Or, in the field:

 a camelback
 a ziplock bag with a tiny hole in the bottom corner. Fill with water and squeeze to get high-pressure stream.
 a dedicated irrigation syringe in the first aid kit

Pressure irrigation is what they teach in wilderness first aid (and to generally leave the hard core scrubbing to the ER).
moosedrool

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Dec 8, 2012 - 12:58pm PT
Jaybro,
Meybe because it was Steph, the infection wasn't that bad :-))
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Dec 8, 2012 - 01:02pm PT
I believe that hepatitis B has been found in an infectious state in egyptian mummies. It is very hard to kill. Bacteria are easily killed, in contrast. usually minutes or hours.

Thanks, Ken. So of the various things humans are likely to produce and deposit on or near rocks - urine, faeces, and blood in particular - which are a health threat, per se, and how long does it last? It sounds like bacteria in blood die fairly quickly, especially in the open air/sun. What about viruses? How long do faeces take to decompose?

(IIRC, urine in and of itself is sterile, although a fine medium in which to grow things.)
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Dec 8, 2012 - 01:04pm PT
None of you guys were raised on a farm huh?
Captain...or Skully

climber
Dec 8, 2012 - 01:16pm PT
Some, actually, Bruce.
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Dec 8, 2012 - 04:55pm PT
Way.....way.....way back when, the Eye at Jtree had a huge raptor nest about half way up and a liberal dressing of bird sh#t.

About a week after the armpit started to swell, couldn't put my arm down past half mast. By the time I got into the doctor the lymph node was the size of a goose egg and the diagnosis was Cat Scratch Fever.

Out came the mini harpoon lance and instant relief followed by a rather large dose of just out of the refrigerator cooooold penicillin.

The lump under the armpit was gratefully traded for a short lived lump on an ass cheek.

I still have an excessive adverse reaction to bird sh#t.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Dec 8, 2012 - 06:19pm PT
So of the various things humans are likely to produce and deposit on or near rocks - urine, faeces, and blood in particular - which are a health threat, per se, and how long does it last? It sounds like bacteria in blood die fairly quickly, especially in the open air/sun. What about viruses? How long do faeces take to decompose?

(IIRC, urine in and of itself is sterile, although a fine medium in which to grow things.)

Blood is the PERFECT medium to grow bugs....in fact, the general type of petri dish we use in the lab is a blood medium. Works great for bacteria, and some viruses. But as it dries, bacteria die rapidly, except for some that create special capsules to protect from drying. Tetanus, for example. Some viruses are very hardy, like the hepatitis types, that withstand drying just fine.

Urine is pretty dilute, and there is generally not a LOT of stuff to grow on, so unless you have a puddle of it, it will dry out pretty fast, and things will tend to die rapidly.

Feces are not a particularly good growth medium, as most of the nutrients have already been consumed. Feces are about 90% bacteria by weight. There may be viruses. However, infectivity decreases rapidly with drying.

Blood is definitely the one I'd be most concerned about.

It's been said that the best way to dispose of feces in the backcountry, when no one will be about, is to smear it on an exposed rock, and let the sun dry it, which it will do in a day or two, killing the bugs. Takes longer in soil.
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Dec 8, 2012 - 07:07pm PT
some folks still haven't recovered from their Steph Infections
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Dec 8, 2012 - 10:01pm PT
hey there say, roadkilphil... get well soon as time allows...

very sorry to hear of this... and for anyone, as well...

seems there are enough hard things in the world--it is sad if our bodies
turn against us, in the middle of all that, :(


may the grace abound for our bodies to properly fight this off...
and good open doors of help, to be there, as well...


wash, is always a good thing--our mom's taught us that too...
water, is what she said, too, and soap...
'course, bad then, we really NEVER heard of this 'out of control'
type infection situations... :(


praying and well wishes for you phil!
The user formerly known as stzzo

climber
Sneaking up behind you
Dec 9, 2012 - 01:56am PT
It's been said that the best way to dispose of feces in the backcountry, when no one will be about, is to smear it on an exposed rock, and let the sun dry it, which it will do in a day or two, killing the bugs. Takes longer in soil.

LNT no longer teaches the smear on a rock technique.
gf

climber
Dec 9, 2012 - 03:43am PT
Good thread; I've had a few nasty drug resistant infections that seem to stem from getting cuts in grubby climbing areas. Now i travel with a "wash kit" plus a smoking antibiotic cream and an emerg course of the drug that works for me in cases when i'm somewhere far from good medical attention
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Dec 9, 2012 - 04:22am PT
I've had many bad infections from living in the tropics. In this environment, we rush to the ER for a shot as soon as swelling or redness occurs and we all have current tetanus shots. It's routine here that the ER docs draw a line above and below the wound and tell us to reappear for antibiotic IV's if the redness goes beyond the mark.
We're also told to never use iodine on a wound incurred in the ocean as coral and most marine life are resistant to iodine and it doesn't work.

The main thing that seems to prevent infection for me, is to make a wound bleed, squeezing hard above a tiny skin break if necessary, to make that happen. I continue to do this under running water for awhile before putting on cream and gauze.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Dec 9, 2012 - 04:39pm PT
LNT no longer teaches the smear on a rock technique.

Well, no doubt they do.

but they are purists, concerned with only one thing in their purity.

They are not concerned with health outcomes. They are not staffed with medical professionals. They don't take into account various public health issues.

But anyway, it wasn't the point of the post, which was the infectivity of feces, and how long it remained infective. (which you might consider is considerable, in that plastic bag, or trash can)
roadkillphil

Trad climber
Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 9, 2012 - 08:57pm PT
Thanks for all the feedback, everybody. Getting better every day. Besides the hygiene issues the life lesson I'm (re)learning is that if you're thinking of doing something sometime, best to make that time sooner rather than later.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Dec 9, 2012 - 09:44pm PT
A buddy of mine got a simple blister on his heel and ended up nearly losing his foot over this. It was totally sick looking for a couple of months until the mega antibiotics finally killed it.

The doc said that our skin is covered with staph at all times, and he could have avoided it with prompt soap and water.

It was wild. Totally changed my opinion of simple blisters or cuts.

My general hygiene level has never been all that great, as many can attest.
roadkillphil

Trad climber
Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 15, 2012 - 01:58pm PT
Don't forget to soak those ratty, filthy shoes in bleach or something every once in a while...
scuffy b

climber
heading slowly NNW
Dec 17, 2012 - 06:48pm PT
My infection, mentioned above, could have been initiated either at Mt.
Woodson or at the local climbing gym. As soon as the symptoms became
unusual, I sought medical care. The Doc or PA who saw me immediately
suspected SA and thought that a community-acquired MRSA was likely, so he
put me on the appropriate antibiotic Clandomycin, I think, while my goo
was being cultured. I saw pictures of the agar-diffusion assay which
confirmed his diagnosis. That was pretty cool. I was fortunate to be put on the
course of antibiotics before waiting for the confirmation.
I also used Hibiclens for a while, and a topical antibiotic called
BactroBan in my nostrils. No complications, no recurrence. I think getting
the early treatment was critical.
The explosion of my carbuncle was after the course of antibiotics was
completed. Apparently I was not infective by that time.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Dec 18, 2012 - 01:55am PT
The doc said that our skin is covered with staph at all times, and he could have avoided it with prompt soap and water.



Word!
Rockin' Gal

Trad climber
Boulder
Dec 19, 2012 - 02:16pm PT
I had a staph infection near my elbow a couple months ago. Red, swollen, painful. Possibly entered through a small elbow abrasion that was a souvenir from Devils Tower. Intravenous anti-biotics for 3 days, luckily out-patient, before the oral meds kicked in.
I asked the doctor what I could do to prevent this, and she said, "Moisturize your elbows."
Apparently knees and elbows are the common places that the bacteria enters due to dry skin, scrapes, etc.
I added some neosporin to my climbing pack. Can't hurt.
Snowmassguy

Trad climber
Calirado
Dec 19, 2012 - 02:32pm PT
Here in CO, a 7 year old boy just passed from strep of all things. So sad..my boy played on a lacrosse team with the kid this past fall and I dont know what to tell my son. Concurrently, a girl in my daughters class just returned to school with drug resistant MRSA. Kind makes you a bit nervous. This stuff is everywhere these days.
My climbing wounds have always healed up nicely but I am way more careful now when cleaning and treating and cuts and scrapes.
bjj

climber
beyond the sun
Dec 19, 2012 - 04:39pm PT
When I stopped climbing in 2003, I started taking wrestling, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Mixed martial arts training.

Skin issues are fairly common in those sports, as you are rolling around on mats that get covered in whatever sweat / dirt / etc that is on anyone's body. You must be absolutely vigilant about cleaning and disinfecting them every single day, and not allowing shoes or any "street" clothing on them.

We kept our gym clean, so issues were at a minimum, but at other places with more lax standards, it was a common occurrence. I have seen ringworm, staph and full blown case of MRSA which ended up requiring lengthy hospital stays where large chunks of flesh would be removed, and massive long term antibiotics required to keep people from dying.

It's nasty stuff.
FrankZappa

Trad climber
Hankster's crew
Dec 19, 2012 - 06:30pm PT
Got a heinous infection called erysipelas wile climbing in Monument basin. Without antibiotics it would have killed me.

Anyway, there is a fairly proud 5.11 tower waiting a (I think)second ascent if anyone is psyched. Needless to say, there is a fair bit of choss still up there....
michaeld

Sport climber
Sacramento
Dec 19, 2012 - 06:31pm PT
I won't touch the crack at my gym unless i'm wearing gloves. You brush against it and get these terrible red rashes.

I've always wondered about staph outside in high populated masochism(crack) crags.
Messages 1 - 70 of total 70 in this topic
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Trip Report and Articles
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews