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Hospital probes rise in MRSA
AN INVESTIGATION has been launched after a patient died having twice contracted the MRSA suberbug at Basildon Hospital.
The hospital would not confirm the age or sex of the patient, who was suffering other illnesses, but said a probe was taking place to discover if they caught MRSA while being treated.
A spokeswoman said the death, which happened in April, was not caused by MRSA, although the hospital is now considering testing all patients for the superbug when they are admitted so it can assess how many cases are picked up in the hospital.
The death comes as the hospital saw a worrying increase in the number of cases of MRSA and another superbug, Clostridium Difficile.
There can be no more than three cases of MRSA a year and ten of C-diff every three months.
However, the patient’s death will mean there were four cases in the last financial year. Last month it also experienced a sharp increase in C-diff infections with seven cases.
The hospital strives to keep outbreaks of C-diff at four or less a month and there should be no more than ten cases of C-diff recorded by the end of June.
The rise in infections is expected to be discussed at board of directors meeting today where concerns will also be raised over hospital cleaning.
The trust carried out a review to see if any systematic failings led to the higher number of cases, but was unable to pinpoint any and found cases were in different ward areas with no clear links between patients.
New screening guidelines for C-diff have been introduced and up to May 22 there were no further cases.
On the patient’s death, a hospital spokeswoman said: “We cannot go into the cause of death for patient confidentiality reasons, but it was not MRSA, but MRSA infection was reported twice for this patient and it is still under investigation.”
She added: “We do all we can to prevent healthcare associated infections, such as MRSA bacteraemia and C-Diff, and over the past few years our figures have dropped dramatically.”
In 2004/05 there were 42 MRSA cases, but in 2011/12 just four were reported.
A few years ago there were 30 to 40 cases of C-diff a month, but in 2011/12 the total number was just 27.