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Police action and other queries
Started by Mike
Posted: March 28, 2007 at 20:13
Hi all,

My mother died suddenly of MRSA whilst recovering from an operation in January. At the time we thought C-Diff was responsible but the samples of her faeces taken from her were lost and nothing could be proved.

After mom had been cremated, I got a call from the hospital to say that the results of her blood tests had shown that MRSA had been found in her blood stream. To be honest, her death came as such a shock that I hadn't asked about blood (or other) tests at the time. So mom is another death where MRSA has not been recorded on her death certificate.

My questions are, is there an estimated figure of how many deaths are caused by mrsa and not recorded? What is the estimated overall death rate by hospital acquired infections thought to be?

And the other one that is troubling me: Have any investigations by police ever been carried out? How is it known whether or not any crime has been commited if no legal investigation is carried out?

Does anyone else think that maybe the police should be more involved, or do we see such deaths as 'accidents' and do we just carry on as we are?
Re: Police action and other queries
Reply #1 by Concerned Health Worker
Posted: April 1, 2007 at 16:38
I do not think we just carry on as we are, nothing but the highest standards in infection control should be applied in hospitals.

It is difficult to prove contraction of MRSA, and there is an air of complacency, which is wrong in my view. There is a lot that can be done to minimise the risk of contracting hospital acquired infections, including C.diff too.

There needs to be a change in thought and a change in culture. It is happening in some hospital trusts, unfortunately not enough. I see lots of postings here and find the attitude of some people who could make a difference difficult to grasp. Clean hospitals, using bleach, better aspetic techniques, more thorough testing, wiser prescripton of anti-biotics all go towards making it less risky to have an operation - it isn't rocket science.

People have involved the police in extreme cases, Tameside hospital is in the news as the Coroner was so concerned about the numbers of deaths in a short period, so sometimes outside intervention is necessary, but it shouldn't come to that, there needs to be a complete change of attitude. Hope that helps.

My condolences for the loss of your mother.
Re: Police action and other queries
Reply #2 by jennyr
Posted: April 2, 2007 at 09:58
The overall death rate caused by mrsa is not properly known as mrsa is covered up, and is deliberately ommitted from death certificates. The NHS policy, despite a plethora of so-called improvement bodies and "reforms", is still to cover up poor standards and treatment. Therefore, its stance towards hospital aquired infection of whatever nature is entirely in keeping with its attitude towards any kind of sub-standard treatment or medically-induced illness.

The role of the cornoner was flagged up in the Shipman case, as it had failed to protect the public from a mass murderer working within the NHS. Perhaps we have another "murderer" at large in the form of mrsa and other infections which are not being properly monitored and controlled? If, despite millions of tax-payers money, those in charge of the NHS still refuse to operate a proper system of quality control and accountability, leading to unnecessary suffering and deaths, and a cover-up of poor practice, then perhaps the police do need to get involved after all.

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