While you may initially consult your family physician, he or she may refer you to a specialist, depending on which of your organ systems is affected by the infection. For example, a dermatologist specializes in skin conditions, while a cardiologist treats heart disorders. Or you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in infectious diseases.
What you can do
You may want to write a list that includes:
- Detailed descriptions of your symptoms
- Information about medical problems you've had
- Information about the medical problems of your parents or siblings
- All the medications and dietary supplements you take
- Questions you want to ask the doctor
For staph infection, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
- Are there any other possible causes for my symptoms or condition?
- What kind of tests do I need?
- Is my condition likely temporary?
- What's the best course of action?
- Will I infect others?
- Should I see a specialist?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
- Are there any restrictions that I need to follow?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Do you have any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor will likely ask you a number of questions, such as:
Jun. 09, 2011
- When did you first notice your symptoms? Could you describe them to me?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- Have you been around anyone with a staph infection?
- Do you have any implanted medical devices, such as an artificial joint or a pacemaker?
- Do you have any ongoing medical conditions, including an impaired immune system?
- Have you recently been in the hospital?
- Do you play contact sports?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to worsen your symptoms?
- Ogle JW, et al. Infections: Bacterial & spirochetal. In: Hay Jr. WW, et al. Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Pediatrics. 20th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Medical; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=6590808. Accessed May 5, 2011.
- Que Y, et al. Staphylococcus aureus (including staphylococcal toxic shock). In: Mandell GL, et al. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/linkTo?type=bookPage&isbn=978-0-443-06839-3&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-443-06839-3..00195-8. Accessed May 5, 2011.
- Endocarditis. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/endo/endo_all.html. Accessed May 5, 2011.
- Lowy FD. Staphylococcal infections. In: Fauci AS, et al. Harrison's Online. 17th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=2870999. Accessed May 9, 2011.
- Archer GL. Staphylococcal infections. In: Goldman L. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/linkTo?type=bookPage&isbn=978-1-4160-2805-5&eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-2805-5..50315-3 Accessed May 9, 2011.
- Baddour LM. Cellulitis and erysipelas. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed May 9, 2011.
- Staphylococcal food poisoning. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/staphylococcus_food_g.htm. Accessed May 9, 2011.
- Fowler VG, et al. Complications of staphylococcus aureus bacteremia. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed May 9, 2011.
- Kirkland EB, et al. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and athletes. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2008;59:494.
- Sepsis and septic shock. The Merck Manuals: Home Edition for Patients and Caregivers. http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/sec17/ch191/ch191c.html. Accessed May 9, 2011.
- Staphylococcus aureus (SA): Antibiotic resistance (general). National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. http://science.education.nih.gov/supplements/nih1/diseases/activities/activity5_vrsa-database.htm. Accessed May 9, 2011.
- Personal prevention of MRSA skin infections. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/mrsa/prevent/personal.html. Accessed May 9, 2011.
- Liu C, et al. Clinical practice guidelines by the Infectious Diseases Society of America for the treatment of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus infections in adults and children. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2011;52:1.