Hospital staff to blame for MRSA?

A JUMP in cases of the superbug MRSA at Weston General Hospital is being linked to new temporary staff employed there. The hospital had three cases of the bug in June, none in July and six in August. A report in the hospital's September board papers said

A JUMP in cases of the superbug MRSA at Weston General Hospital is being linked to new temporary staff employed there.The hospital had three cases of the bug in June, none in July and six in August. A report in the hospital's September board papers said: "Six cases in August is a high figure and a sudden increase from July's figure of zero. "Various investigations have been undertaken and the reasons are several, including patients with MRSA being transferred from another trust or nursing home, as well as infection associated with intravenous access."There has been a significant increase in temporary staff as we have accommodated the increase in patient admissions. Both these factors increase risk."A hospital spokesman said: "The trust has experienced very low MRSA rates in the first part of the year and is looking closely at the reasons for the recent increase."In August we had an increase in admissions and at this time the majority of the junior doctors are new to the trust. "This significant change in staff means that in spite of a huge emphasis on infection control, risks may be slightly higher than at other times. "In response, we have increased training and guidance to all staff, including on how to minimise the risk of MRSA."One of the risks for introducing MRSA is through intravenous (IV) access and the trust is currently carrying out an audit of its IV procedures to see if this is a specific area upon which we can improve."It is usual for MRSA rates to show some fluctuation and it should be remembered that such infections are not necessarily acquired within the hospital because patients can transfer it in from other places. "During August these reasons contributed to the total figure of six. So far this year, we have had 12 cases and hope our increasing work and vigilance will ensure we stay on track for our whole year target of 19."MRSA, or Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, is a penicillin resistant bacteria.


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