Saturday, December 27, 2014

Freddy Galvis, MRSA, and preventing a team-wide outbreak

Earlier today, Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis was hospitalized with a staph infection in his leg. This afternoon, one source reported the infection was being treated as MRSA.

Freddy Galvis, MRSA, and preventing a team-wide outbreak

The Phillies´ Freddy Galvis. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
The Phillies' Freddy Galvis. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis was hospitalized with a staph infection in his leg early Friday morning. By the afternoon, one source reported the infection was being treated as MRSA.

Galvis will begin the season on the disabled list, but the more immediate concern is for his personal well-being—and that of other Phillies players, personnel and even opponents.

The best-known cases of MRSA outbreak in recent sports history involved NFL teams. The St. Louis Rams, Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have all experienced somewhat widespread outbreaks since 2003. Well-known players including All-Pro LeCharles Bentley and Kellen Winslow Jr. were affected.

So what are the chances that the Phillies and medical professionals can isolate this case to Galvis before it spreads throughout the entire team? Is it already too late?

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“There is a chance they can control this infection from spreading,” says Theresa Madaline, M.D., attending infectious diseases physician at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, N.Y. and instructor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, “but it’s by no means a sure thing.”

Dr. Madaline is originally from Philadelphia and graduated from Jefferson. She says if the infection is to be controlled, the Phillies have their work cut out for them.

“It’s common, when people are in close quarters as athletes often are, for these infections to spread,” she admits. “There are things that can be done to prevent that—there are protocols for decontamination.”

In particular, carpets, equipments, showers, bathroom facilities and any other surfaces will be areas of concentration for those who may end up working to decontaminate the team’s facility in Clearwater, Fla.

As for Galvis, he will likely be prescribed a host of antibiotics either intravenously or orally—a treatment Dr. Madaline quotes as successful in “up to 80 percent of people.”

MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) infection is caused by a strain of staph bacteria that over time, becomes resistant to the antibiotics used to treat most staph infections. According to the Mayo Clinic, the majority of MRSA infections occur in hospitals or other health-care centers and are typically associated with invasive procedures.

Since Staphylococcus Aureus occurs fairly commonly, many people are totally unaware that they have it. The problems start when the bacteria is able to enter the body through a cut or wound—an obvious concern in a locker room or on a baseball field. While many people with strong immune systems—including, presumably, professional athletes—can fight off an infection with only mild symptoms, those with weakened immune systems can be susceptible to the antibiotic-resistant strain.

Read more Sports Doc for Sports Medicine and Fitness.
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Brian Cammarota, MEd, ATC, CSCS, CES Partner at Symetrix Sports Performance
Ellen Casey, MD Physician with Drexel University Sports Medicine
Desirea D. Caucci, PT, DPT, OCS Co-owner of Conshohocken Physical Therapy, Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Michael G. Ciccotti, M.D. Head Team Physician for Phillies & St. Joe's; Rothman Institute
Julie Coté, PT, MPT, OCS, COMT Magee Rehabilitation Hospital
Peter F. DeLuca, M.D. Head Team Physician for Eagles, Head Orthopedic Surgeon for Flyers; Rothman Institute
Joel H. Fish, Ph.D. Director of The Center For Sport Psychology; Sports Psychology Consultant for 76ers & Flyers
R. Robert Franks, D.O. Team Physician for USA Wrestling, Consultant for Phillies; Rothman Institute
Ashley B. Greenblatt, ACE-CPT Certified Personal Trainer, The Sporting Club at The Bellevue
Eugene Hong, MD, CAQSM, FAAFP Team Physician for Drexel, Philadelphia Univ., Saint Joe’s, & U.S. National Women’s Lacrosse
Martin J. Kelley, PT, DPT, OCS Advanced Clinician at Penn Therapy and Fitness, Good Shepherd Penn Partners
Julia Mayberry, M.D. Attending Hand & Upper Extremity Surgeon, Main Line Hand Surgery P.C.
Jim McCrossin, ATC Strength and Conditioning Coach, Flyers and Phantoms
Kevin Miller Fitness Coach, Philadelphia Union
Heather Moore, PT, DPT, CKTP Owner of Total Performance Physical Therapy, North Wales and Hatfield, PA
Kelly O'Shea Senior Health Producer, Philly.com
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David Rubenstein, M.D. Team Orthopedist for 76ers; Main Line Health Lankenau Medical Center
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Justin Shaginaw, MPT, ATC Athletic Trainer for US Soccer Federation; Aria 3B Orthopaedic Institute
Thomas Trojian MD, CAQSM, FACSM Associate Chief of the Division of Sports Medicine at Drexel University
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