Infections, certification, and opinion

As a chief of orthopaedics at an urban country hospital where we already use routine vancomycin for surgical prophylaxis, and as an assistant high-school basketball coach, I was very interested in the article on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in the October 2008 issue (“Preventing MRSA in the locker room”).

The article recommends that “athletes shower with soap immediately after workouts.” In my coaching experience, high school athletes currently do not routinely shower in the locker room after workouts, and instead head home or somewhere else to shower who-knows-when. I have encountered this “no-shower” concept in several states; it seems to have evolved over several years for reasons nobody has been able to explain to me.

It may be that not showering in the locker room area is better for [reducing] communicable diseases, but it goes strongly against the idea of “showering immediately after workouts.” Perhaps further investigation is needed to develop a recommendation on whether showering in the locker room, as has been done traditionally in the past, is a good idea today.

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