‘Below Deck’: Could Brian de Saint Pern’s Knee Infection Be MRSA?

Lead deckhand, Brian de Saint Pern from Below Deck was filmed getting what seemed to be an innocent cut on his knee during work. He brushed it off and continued to work.

Captain Lee Rosbach
Captain Lee Rosbach | Greg Endries/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

However, de Saint Pern’s knee didn’t heal naturally. He awoke to significant pain, redness and swelling in the area that was cut. He tried to power through the pain and continue to work. However, he was eventually bedridden when the injury seemed to worsen. The crew managed to complete the charter and a doctor arrived on Valor to assess de Saint Pern’s injury.

The physician claimed de Saint Pern had an infection and gave him an antibiotic injection. He told Captain Lee Rosbach that de Saint Pern should recover in a few days. But a preview shows that de Saint Pern is not only still in pain, but he’s also concerned about losing his leg.

Yachties are at a higher risk for MRSA

Some skin infections may heal with little to no intervention. But others, like MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) do not. Staph infections or MRSA may be more prevalent in the yachting world.

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“Although it’s not clear if sailors are getting staph (including MRSA) infections from exposure to contaminated water or whether open wounds from yachting simply allow staph acquired elsewhere to have an entry point into the body, these infections are a serious concern,” according to The Islander. “The commonality of these infections to sailors and other ocean users is becoming alarming. MRSA has been cultured from the nearshore waters and has been reported in storm and sewer waters as well. Thus the risk to sailors is stormwater-related, like the other disease risks from yachting and handling lines in brown waters.”

Viewers saw de Saint Pern receive an antibiotic injection. However, it may not be enough if he had MRSA or staph infection. “The problem is that it is resistant to most antibiotics, with a couple of oral (pill) exceptions (sulfa-trimethoprim and sometimes rifampin and/or clindamycin),” The Islander reports. “It can require IV treatment by potentially toxic antibiotics including vancomycin and some other newer, more experimental drugs.”

Could de Saint Pern have a staph infection?

The Islander cautions yachties to seek immediate medical attention if an injury becomes red and swollen. “A word of caution to yachties– for soft tissue lesions that enlarge, become red and sore like boils, it could be MRSA.” Soft tissue lesions should be cultured too.

Signs of MRSA include swelling, redness, pus, and drainage around the wound, according to the Mayo Clinic. Fever is another indicator and the patient should be treated by a medical professional. A doctor treated de Sain Pern, but he may require additional IV antibiotics and the wound may be drained.

While de Saint Pern is worried about his health, he’s also worried about losing his job. After seeing the doctor, he seems frustrated and concerned his time on Valor will be cut short. He shares that he thought by now his leg would be better. But his knee only looks worse and the redness and swelling appears to increase.

Find out what happens when Below Deck airs on Bravo, every Monday at 9/8 central.