Hospital C-diff cases grow as MRSA falls

MORE patients are contracting a new superbug at Weston General Hospital. From January to September last year there were 247 cases of Clostridium Difficile (C-diff). These figures for the first nine months of last year have already overtaken the number of

MORE patients are contracting a new superbug at Weston General Hospital.From January to September last year there were 247 cases of Clostridium Difficile (C-diff). These figures for the first nine months of last year have already overtaken the number of cases for the whole of 2005, which stood at 242.Weston's figures are in line with a national trend which has seen an increase in C-diff cases all over the country this year.Last week Draycott ward at Weston General Hospital in Grange Road, Uphill, was closed to new admissions after two patients picked up the potentially fatal C-diff virus, which causes sickness and diarrhoea.But despite cases of C-diff soaring, the number of patients contracting MRSA is down and Weston Area Health Trust has been awarded £300,000 from the Department of Health to boost its infection control measures.According to figures from the Health Protection Agency, Weston General Hospital had just six cases of MRSA between July and September last year, meaning the trust is on course to achieve a 20 per cent reduction in MRSA cases compared to last year's figures.If the trust achieves the reduction it will be the second consecutive year in which MRSA cases have fallen by 20 per cent.Rachel Slater, director of nursing and operations at Weston Area Health Trust, said: "This hospital takes all infection control issues very seriously and we are determined to reduce infection rates further. To this end we work closely with staff, patients and the public so that combating infection is a genuine team effort."Weston Area Health Trust is planning to use the money to increase en-suite and isolation facilities with C-diff. The trust is also purchasing new steam cleaners, easy-to-clean commodes and bedpan washers.All hospital beds will be steam cleaned and a small team will be deep-cleaning selected wards on a weekly basis. Rooms for C-diff patients are cleaned twice a day with a new chlorine-based disinfectant to try to defeat the infection.


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