Tuesday, 24 November 2009

NHS failures expected over superbug death

SOLIHULL health bosses say NHS failures are suspected over a superbug death.

Solihull Care Trust has admitted faults are likely to be found over the care of an un-named patient who died from clostridium difficile.

A report says: “There has been a death directly attributable to Clostridium difficile which is under investigation.

“Early indications are that there were failures on a number of levels from hospital discharge through to management of symptoms in the community.

“An internal alert has been issued to GPs regarding not prescribing loperamide in diarrhoea where C.diff is a potential diagnosis.”

No further information is given by the trust. It has been raised as a “serious untoward incident” as the infection is noted on the death certificate.

Loperamide is named in official NHS guidance for patients as the drug used to relieve symptoms of diarrhoea. Patients do not need a prescriptions.

There has been nationwide concerns about patients being too quickly discharged from hospital without the services being ready to care for them in the community.

Along with MRSA, clostridium difficile is the most well known hospital acquired infection.

It is a bacterium that thrives when antibiotics are introduced into the body, common in hospital. Older people are most at risk, NHS guidance states.

It says: “Most people with a C. diff infection make a full recovery. However, in rare cases, the infection can be fatal.”

The care trust, which decides where NHS cash is spent in the borough, said it was on course to reduce C.diff and MRSA.

To read the trust report download the folder here (4.4mb) and open 2009.253 DIPC Quarter 2 report_1.