Skip to comments.Superbug deaths soar in England and Wales
Posted on 03/02/2008 3:47:49 PM PST by BGHater
The number of deaths linked with hospital superbug Clostridium difficile has soared in England and Wales, figures from the Office for National Statistics show.
Between 2005 and 2006 the number of death certificates which mentioned the infection rose by 72 per cent to 6,480. Elderly people were most at risk from the bacteria, which caused more than 55,000 infections in NHS hospitals last year.
It is thought that some of the increase may be due to more complete reporting on death certificates, but there has been a fiftyfold increase in C. difficile infections since 1990.
Deaths citing C. difficile as a factor increased by 77 per cent in men, and 66 per cent in women between 2005 and 2006, the new statistics show. In more than half of cases, C. difficile was listed as the underlying cause of death.
Rates in both sexes have risen dramatically since 2001, when there were only 1,200 mentions of the infection on death certificates.
The ONS figures also showed deaths involving another notorious superbug, MRSA, remained roughly the same between 2005 and 2006 - at about 1,650 each year.
C. difficile is present in the gut of 3 per cent of adults and two thirds of infants, although it rarely causes problems. However, certain antibiotics can disturb the normal balance, allowing the bug to thrive and causing severe diarrhoea and in some cases severe inflammation of the bowel which can be life threatening. Elderly hospital patients over 65 are most at risk from bacterial spores, which are difficult to eradicate from wards.
Brian Duerden, chief microbiologist at the Department of Health, said that ministers called for more accurate reporting of infections such as MRSA and C. difficile on death certificates in 2005.
These statistics from 2006 show that this move has worked and our figures are now in line with other developed countries, he said.
Since 2006 we have taken significant steps to tackle infections. These include stringent hand-washing guidance for the NHS, a bare below-the-
elbows dress code, putting matrons back in charge of cleanliness on their wards and an ongoing deep clean of every ward.
Professor Duerden added that hospital infection rates were now falling. The Health Protection Agency reported in November that rates of C. difficile infection may be levelling off, with the number of new cases down 7 per cent to 13,660, while MRSA cases are also falling.
But Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat health spokesman, said that the figures beg the question of why it took so long for the government to realise the seriousness of deadly infections such as C. difficile.
Recent successes in keeping infection rates down are down to the hard work of NHS staff, who are up against enormous pressure to hit targets while keeping their wards infection-free.
Andrew Lansley, the Conservative Shadow Health Secretary, described the figures as unacceptable and noted that hospital-acquired infections now kill almost three times as many people as road accidents.
These shocking figures reflect the full scale of the human cost of C. difficile infection. The overall scale of infection is unacceptable and the need for a comprehensive infection control strategy, including improved antibiotic prescribing and access to isolation facilities, hand hygiene and cleanliness is paramount.
All caused by global warming.
You could link it with bureaucratic health care.
Not for the filthy muzzies who refuse to comply. And heretofore seem to be getting away with it.
You can fight it with testing, contact precautions, isolation/clustering of infected patients, and probiotics for every hospital patient on antibiotics.
You can court it with 8-person wards and culpable neglect intended to speed pensioners to eternal care.
I think they can do it faster;)
Betsy McCaughey is spearheading the fight here. Remember Betsy? She brought down the Hillary health care plan.
The long term increase, on the other hand, is due to a combination of excessive use of broad-spectrum antibiotics, and some of the physical NHS problems, most commonly excessive ward population, reduced cleaning, and a reduction in linen changes. In many cases, it’s the kind of thing that happens when you have bureaucrats trying to curry favor with their bosses by cutting back in basic services. You can get similar sorts of things happening in US hospitals, but there’s nothing like a government-run health care facility to really screw things up.
As far as the quotes from the politicians, think Nancy Pelosi’s “Bush’s failed Iraq Policy” circa 2003. Or, Chuckie Shumer whining ‘it’s not enough’.
There’s two excellent English health care blogs, both written by doctors, available online and they’ve had extensive discussions about this problem. Because they’re dealing with a government-run system, their items are frequently laced with alphabet soup that you have to decipher, but for those who follow the issue, they’re a great resource.
I think they need to temporarily empty the hospital, then runa robot through it with the radioactive stuff they use to irradiate food. That would sterilize the place, making it safe for a while.
However, in USA, all new hospitals, and many older ones are converted to single patient wards.
This reduces cross infection tremendously.
Also strict hand washing and disinfection.
There is also a solid state anti-bacterial coating that can be applied to glass, (invented in Japan) and now widely used in US hospitals.
My dad, 75, went into Hartford Hospital (CT) for bypass surgery in November. The day after the surgery he was diagnosed with C. difficile and they had to remove his colon. He almost died and was on a respirator for 2 weeks. He was finally able to go home a few weeks ago but is facing months of physical therapy. It’s a miracle he survived.
This is getting scary folks.
I heard on a talk show recently that the UK hospitals TURN OVER THE SHEETS, in other words — use the same bedsheets TWICE, when one patient leaves & another enters to use that hospital bed, in order to save public funds on laundry costs.
I wish I could find a news report documenting this, it certainly would explain the superbug outbreak, Yuck.
It is a tenet of Bedouin culture which is not the same thing.
"No practising Muslim woman - doctor, medical student, nurse or patient - should be forced to bare her arms below the elbow," it said.
Dr Majid Katme, the association spokesman, said: "Exposed arms can pick up germs and there is a lot of evidence to suggest skin is safer to the patient if covered. One idea might be to produce long, sterile, disposable gloves which go up to the elbows."
This is pure dissemination.
The cleanliness protocols state that the hands and arms are scrubbed to the elbows and then a clean gown is put on which covers the arms and sterile gloves are put on which cover the first few inches of the gown sleeve.
The female Muslim would only have her arms exposed for the 10 minutes that she was scrubbing up.
If these job requirements infringe on their religious sensibilities too much then they need to seek out different careers.
Hasidic Jews have done this for a century or more. They do not take careers that require them to work the Sabbath day. Pretty much the all have their own businesses so they can work their own hours.
But that is not good enough for Muslims. They must bend the world to their ways no matter who or how many it kills.
Now I know why the Muslim majority areas of Brittan are no go areas for non-Muslims.