Patient contracts superbug

A SERIOUSLY ill cancer patient who it is claimed was mistakenly given "Not For Resuscitation" status by medical staff has contracted a potentially fatal "superbug" at the same hospital.

A SERIOUSLY ill cancer patient who it is claimed was mistakenly given "Not For Resuscitation" status by medical staff has contracted a potentially fatal "superbug" at the same hospital.

Ipswich Hospital launched an investigation after the 63-year-old's family claimed that, when she was admitted ten days ago, medical staff went against her wishes to be resuscitated in the event of a heart attack – as reported in The Evening Star.

Now the woman's daughter Lesley Andrews, who lives in Ipswich, has again criticised medical staff after her mother was diagnosed with methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA).

The infection is resistant to the commonly used antibiotic methicillin and is often not dangerous and symptom-less in healthy patients. However, in the elderly, weak or those with a low immune system, MRSA can cause fever and pneumonia.


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Mrs Andrews claimed her mother, who does not want to be identified but is being treated for lymphoma cancer, has been told little about the illness.

She said: "I don't know if she is going to infected for a week, a month or forever. All we have been told is to make sure we wash our hands."

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Ipswich Hospital was found to have 0.2 cases of MRSA for every 1,000 days a bed is occupied, which placed it 26th out of 126 similar hospitals.

Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital, apologised for the added stress Mrs Andrew's mother had been placed under but added that, despite "vigorous" infection policies, there was always a chance such an illness could be caught in a busy hospital.

She said: "It must be highly distressing and unfortunate that this has happened. People in Mrs Andrew's mother's position are generally more vulnerable and more susceptible to acquiring an infection.

"We try very, very hard indeed to limit the incidents and have vigorous infection control."

Ms Rowsell stressed that any patients or families who have a complaint or issue with the hospital should contact them directly using their Patient Advise and Liaison Service (PALS).

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