Clostridium Difficile bug
The superbug Clostridium difficile has been identified in connection with 49 deaths occurring at Leicester Royal Infirmary, Glenfield Hospital and Leicester General Hospital. A spokesman for the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, confirmed that 28 patients had died after catching the bug and the Coroner is investigating a further 29 possible cases.
People contracting the bug experience severe abdominal pain, diarrhoea and dehydration. It can be treated with antibiotics and re-hydration but twenty percent of patients treated successfully can suffer relapses after antibiotic treatment is stopped.
The disease caused by Clostridium Difficile is contagious and can spread through direct patient contact with other patients or healthcare staff. Zuffir Haq, chairman of the Leicester Patients Forum recommended sinks be placed at the entrance to the hospital so all visitors and patients are forced to wash their hands on entering the hospital. The problem is often attributed to poor standards of hygiene.
Investigations are also underway by the Health Commission at the Maidstone Hospital in Kent, where six people are reported as dying from a diarrhoea bug.
Sallie Booth, a Partner at Irwin Mitchell, said: "We have seen a number of cases where people have become infected with Clostridium Difficile which has made their spell in hospital even more distressing than it already was. We urge hospitals to ensure the very strictest hygiene measures ensuring peace of mind for all patients."
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