New VA screenings reduce staph infections
What is the Department of Veterans Affairs doing to prevent staph infections?
Answer: The VA has new screening requirements in all of its 153 hospitals, which has reduced staph infection by 50 percent. VA facilities are monitoring all incoming patients with nasal swabs and cultures for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. MRSA is a biological agent responsible for difficult-to-treat infections in humans. It can be caught from direct contact with an infected patient. It can cause pneumonia and wound or bloodstream infections. Frequent hand washing, isolation of infected patients and the use of hospital gowns can prevent the spread. To find out more information about MRSA-related infections, visit www.va.gov and type "MRSA" in the search box.
Q: What is the VA doing to assist the homeless veterans?
A: Shower services are offered on Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Veterans are given towels, soap and shampoo. Clothing is issued on Thursdays from 1 to 3 p.m. Veterans in need of clothing in the event of an emergency can come at any time during normal business hours. The VA also provides women's clothing and clothing for job interviews. When available, the veterans can receive bus passes for appointments, McDonald's coupons and coffee chips that are redeemable at the VA snack shop for any drink valued at $1. The veterans are given health and comfort kits that have travel-size toiletry supplies. Identification cards are available for veterans who have no ID. All services are coordinated through Allan Kellogg in the American Legions office on the first floor, E-wing at Tripler Army Medical Center.
If you have questions about your benefits as a veteran, call Fred Ballard at the Veterans Affairs at 433-0049 or visit the VA Web site at www.va.gov/hawaii
or the Star-Bulletin at 529-4747.