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Discussion: MRSA (Staph Infection) and the senior player

Posted Discussion
Jan. 21, 2009
Lecak
Men's 55
1012 posts
MRSA (Staph Infection) and the senior player
I watched Real Sports on HBO last night and they had a segment on the onslaught of MRSA in sports. MRSA is a staph infection that has grown as a result of being resistant to most antibiotics. This weekend I will be attending the Senior softball summit and one of the topics I will discuss with the senior organizations is MRSA education for the senior player. Since starting in senior ball in 2007 I am aware of 3 cases, two from on the field injuries and one from surgery as it related to an on the field injury.
One of these gentleman was a very dear and close friend who came within hours of possibly losing a leg.

Both injuries occurred as a result of some on the field trauma sliding, getting struck on the shins with a batted ball etc. Since one of the injuries was to my friend I took the time to educate myself with the doctor and here is what I gathered. Typically these injuries occur around a cut or bruise in an area where blood flow is not the best. The injury takes some time to manifest itself usually after the games are over and some time has elapsed. In the case of seniors and their legs the person tends to be diabetic and bruises easily. In both cases the person continued to play and did not clean the area immediately after the injury occurred. In my friends case there was no blood just a skin break.

In the third case a knee injury and minor surgery with the bug being picked up in the hospital similar to Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.

What I want to propose to the summit is that an education program similar to what they have with the heart program be started. Possibly design some literature to hand out, use of the website to educate the players, and update their first aid kits and work with the TD's and Umpires to talk through with the player and managers the serious nature of getting struck around the legs with a batted ball or a slide that causes the skin to break. The minimum conversation should take place on alerting the player of not getting immediate care and cleaning the wound.

One other note the doctor I spoke with stated that Staph is quite common on ball fields that use reclaimed water to irrigate.

If you read this please educate yourself if I know of 3 cases in a couple of years I have to assume that most of you who play have similar experiences.

Thank you and stay healthy.
Jan. 21, 2009
taits
Men's 65
4387 posts
I got my MRSA while in a hospital recovering from an abscess caused by a ball that left only seam marks and no tear on my lower leg. All this was within a week of the hit.

But bad blood flow is one of the reasons as Joe stated. My lack of flow is from having Neuropathy in both legs since about 1980. The main reason I wear the leg crap, and tell any player I know who has got hit recently to take care if it and watch for abnormal signs, like your leg turning red. Mine turned red all the way up to my knee, in about a week, all in one day.
MRSA is nasty.
Jan. 21, 2009
Lecak
Men's 55
1012 posts
Hi Scott even though we physically haven't met I feel like I know you. It is nasty stuff and I think you sharing your story and stories like what happened to my friend will be an important step in the education process.
Jan. 21, 2009
F.O.G.
Men's 40
105 posts
Joe,

Excellent subject. Dan Gonzales(Dano) had the exact same thing happen to him 4 years ago in Chino Hills. Hit ball to the shin while pitching.

I saw the injury after the fact...nasty stuff and it could have killed him slowly.

I look forward to hearing more regarding this subject this coming weekend.
Jan. 21, 2009
4x4
Men's 65
597 posts
I would also think the astro turf fields would add to the danger here. They, although watered/sprayed have the accumlation of spit/gum/skin/sweat/blood and germs just sitting there collecting and waiting without benefit of a growth process such as natural grass.

I know a lot of guys carried nasty burns that lasted for over a month from the fields in Reno. Probably the same at other similar places.
Jan. 21, 2009
curveball
Men's 65
400 posts
I got my MRSA after falling rounding 1st base and going down on my hands at last years Winter Worlds in Vegas. Had very minor skin breaks with small gravel inside the skin. Pulled out the gravel and rinsed hands and kept playing. 48 hours later, the infection took hold. Took several weeks to get the use of my hand back. Nasty stuff.
Jan. 21, 2009
terryspears
Men's 55
38 posts
Great post. I generally carry a small first aid kit in my bat bag. It contains packets of sterile ater, alcohol wipes, and antibiotic ointment, and sterile pads. There have been numerous times that I have offered it to players who have had cuts and scrapes as you have described, and they passed on the opportunity to clean up between innings. Hope your post will cause the light to come on, and more players/teams will begin to provide the opportunity to immediately care for these seemingly minor injuries.
Jan. 21, 2009
Lecak
Men's 55
1012 posts
SSUSA staff anyway to make this a sticky for a week or so, I think the stories being told could prove quite valuable. Might save a life. Thanks
Jan. 21, 2009
Lecak
Men's 55
1012 posts
I think I can make a difference at the Summit if no one minds I would like to keep this near the top. If I'm reading correctly there is some really important stuff that can be shared.

Mike Williams don't forget RJ he had a really tough battle with this.
Jan. 21, 2009
F.O.G.
Men's 40
105 posts
Yes, he did. He'll never be the same.

Long pants are looking pretty good at this point!
Jan. 21, 2009
Ken
Men's 55
462 posts
You sold me. Twice last year I scraped the skin off my lower leg wearing shorts, and got bad infections from not cleaning the area well that prolonged the healing. I'll be going to long pants, even tho I have beautiful legs.
Jan. 21, 2009
Lecak
Men's 55
1012 posts
Guys keep the stories coming if enough people read this we will save lives and limbs.

I believe I will get an audience at the summit with this information
Jan. 21, 2009
Bob50
Men's 60
240 posts
I wear shin guards now when I pitch and here is why.

Two years ago I took a hard shot flush to my lower shin just above the ankle. It swelled and formed a scab. A week later it was more painful then the day of the injury. The first surgeon I saw called the thick scab that formed an eschar. He was not sure whether to remove it or let it stay to protect the damaged shin. He tried relieving the pressure by sticking a needle deep into my shin but this didn't help.

A few days later it looked like the scab was ready to come off. So I pulled it off thinking this would help. Unfortunately what came out was quite thick and kind of surprised me. I kept pouring peroxide into the open would thinking it would help but I learned later that this kills good tissue along with infected tissue.

The next weekend I went swimming in a lake. Shortly after that the infection became more severe. Common over the counter meds did not help. Finally I went to a number of different surgeons to see what could be done. Finally one of the doctors put on a glove and dug out the dead tissue. I was left with a hole in my shin slightly bigger than a silver dollar all the way to my nice white shin bone that could now be plainly seen. He then had me take an xray to make sure there was no infection in the bone because that would be more serious. Then advised me there was nothing else he could do. He sent me to a wound clinic and for a month I had to wear on my leg a portable wound vac. It basically kept sucking pressure on the wound so it could continue to drain the infection away and gradually closed the large wound to form a smaller wound and scab that over time healed.

He told me I could have lost my leg had I waited any longer to see him. So seven doctors and a wound clinic later I was back playing again but wiser about wounds. Big Bird (Danoski) had this happen to him two or three times.

Bob Schulz
Jan. 21, 2009
Lecak
Men's 55
1012 posts
I'm beginning to wonder if this is more common than we could've imagined. The raising of awareness from players we all know and respect could go along way to reducing the suffering attached to future accidents. I'm thinking that maybe somebody like Kevin at Anaconda has something or can recommend some protective equipment that can be certified by senior softball and then marketed to folks who feel the need to protect themselves. I'm in no way advocating that protective gear be mandatory but it would help if a trusted source could endorse it.
Jan. 21, 2009
softballer
Men's 55
560 posts
I put this on the young guys board for them as well! they need to know too!
Jan. 21, 2009
docnorm
Men's 55
97 posts
Oh my my my.... Ken sexy legs :) :)
Jan. 22, 2009
hitt2
354 posts
Great post Lecak
This is what the message board should be about.
This is working to improve our game and health.
I Thank-you, for getting us back on track.

Two years ago I got a severe sliding burn at the Huntsman games. The team had a med kit. I, with the help of a few of the Wives did all of the precautionary things to avoid infection. Hurt like H_ _ _ at the end of the day. The next morning my friend and I were having breakfast before getting ready to catch the flight home. Suddenly I started to get light head and sweat profusely. We ended up going to the med station at the Center. I was lucky the tech worked for the college football team. He checked me out and stated that even though the injury was clean he had seen similar strawberry that turn infectious.. He asked when I got my last tetanus shot. I couldn’t remember. He suggested I get one to prevent a MRSA. My friend informed my wife when we landed back in Calif. about the med suggestion (I was not feeling up to par). The next morning (Saturday) I was at the doctor's office getting the shot and was given this heavy duty antibiotics cream to apply. It took from late October 06 until the end of January07 for it to heal. I was blessed that no other issues developed. Still have my wheels
Suggestion:
To all review med shot history.
If I have to slide you can bet I in long pants from now on.
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