Are bugs getting the better of the NHS?


A UK expert has warned that Government targets to cut MRSA rates may have lead to increases in other hospital infections.

With the focus being on MRSA and C. Difficile of late other bugs are creeping under the radar eg E.Coli.

Dr Millar, a medical microbiologist at Barts and the London NHS Trust states that MRSA infections only account for 2% of healthcare-associated infections.

He also said that all we have done is replaced one problem with another one. Similarly it happened with C. difficile outbreaks when we paid too much attention to MRSA and not enough to C.Diff and its potential dangers.

Professor Hugh Pennington, emeritus professor of bacteriology at the University of Aberdeen commented that there were good reasons for introducing MRSA targets at the time but a broader approach was now needed.

He believes that this is merely the tip of the iceberg, and in order to improve we need to get better statistics so we can really see what the trends are.

A Department of Health spokesperson said "MRSA and C.Difficile infections can have potentially very severe consequences for patients and confidence in the NHS."

"E. Coli is the most common bloodstream infection with 22,000 cases reported in 2007, but rates have remained stable in recent years."

Some healthcare-associated infections are not preventable, but the NHS need to step up and improve when it comes to infections that are.

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