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27 records found from year 2006

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Tuesday, 21 February 2006 10:04
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
DOCTORS TOLD TO ABANDON COATS AND TIES IN SUPERBUG FIGHT
A report by the British Medical Association has recommended that doctors stop wearing ties and white coats in order to combat the spread of superbugs such as MRSA.

In the report on avoiding healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs), the British Medical Association advised doctors and nurses to abandon neckwear, coats and any other "functionless" clothes in favour of freshly laundered, simple outfits.

Ties and white coats are a specific problem because they often go unwashed for long periods and come into regular contact with wounds, passing infections.

The BMA report also emphasised the importance of basic hygiene such as regular hand-washing and clean equipment.

HCAIs including methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile (C.difficile) contribute to the death of up to 5,000 people in the UK every year.

These so-called ‘superbugs’ cost the NHS up to £1 billion per year. A 15 per cent reduction in the incidence of HCAIs would free up around £150 million every year for other NHS resources.

To avoid such infections, which thrive in the stomach after bacteria have been killed off, doctors are also advised to avoid giving antibiotics to the “worried well”.

Dr Vivienne Nathanson, the BMA’s Head of Ethics and Science, said: “It is unlikely that any health service will ever be completely free of HCAIs but there is a lot more that doctors, nurses, cleaners, patients and their visitors could be doing to reduce infections spreading – the fact is around 15 to 30 per cent of HCAIs are preventable.

“A lot of the solutions like hand-washing may sound simple. While strict guidelines are in place about how health professionals need to wash their hands there are barriers to compliance.

“One of the major barriers to doctors following these guidelines is time and the pressure to treat patients and meet targets. Another can be the layout of clinical areas and access to washing facilities.”

She added: “Patients have a role to play too. There is no point demanding antibiotics for a cold, they won’t help you but they will help create ‘superbugs’ ".


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Tuesday, 07 February 2006 11:39
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HALF OF HOSPITALS FAILING ON MRSA TARGETS
The government has revealed today that half of NHS hospital trusts in England are falling behind the target to cut rates if the MRSA superbug by 50 per cent by 2008.

Health minister Jane Kennedy said that progress in cutting rates of infection was disappointing.

The latest figures show that, in the six month period April to September 2005, there were 3,580 cases of MRSA blood stream infections reported in England, up from 3,525 for the same period the previous year.

Ms Kennedy said special teams would be sent into 20 trusts facing the greatest challenges in reducing MRSA rates.

"I am disappointed that despite many trusts making significant reductions in infections the overall figures do not reflect these improvements.

"These are early figures from the period at the very start of the comprehensive programme of action we have put in place," Ms Kennedy said.

"While 7,269 infections is a tiny fraction of the 12 million patients admitted to hospital every year, and more cases are reported now due to better surveillance, any avoidable infection is one too many."


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Tuesday, 31 January 2006 12:35
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
DIALYSIS TARGETS BEING MISSED
A study by the UK Renal Registry has revealed that most UK kidney disease care centres are falling short of a key standard for dialysis treatment.

The study, carried out for the Renal Association and Kidney Research UK, surveyed 62 out of the 72 centres and found infection rates were high, with many insufficiently prepared for treatment.

The survey also found that only 43 per cent of patients treated for kidney failure received ideal treatment – including those receiving kidney transplants.

Furthermore, the report revealed delays in diagnoses and operations, and high rates of MRSA in treatment centres.

Researchers looked at vascular dialyses – the way in which patients are connected to a dialysis machine. Vascular access can be through a surgically formed fistula or by a plastic tube (catheter).

A fistula is recommended for patients undergoing haemodialysis as it leads to improved efficiency and reduced infection rates. However, the survey found that only a third of dialysis patients overall were given a fistula.

The study also found that haemodialysis patients account for up to 10 per cent of all hospital MRSA infections.

Professor John Feehally, a leading nephrologist, and President of the Renal Association says: "These results highlight the need for improvements in treatment for kidney patients on dialysis.

"We already know some of the changes that are needed in the complex care pathway for kidney patients - and we are all committed to working together to make them happen."

Professor Charles Pusey, Chairman of Kidney Research UK says: "These results show that too many patients are starting haemodialysis without definitive vascular access.

"This is contributing to a high incidence of infection and to additional hospital stays.

"There is wide variability between different renal units, and there is clearly a need to improve performance nationally."

Professor Dame Carol Black, President of the Royal College of Physicians, said: "The evidence collected by this survey is vital to the future well-being of patients on dialysis.

"Now that we know the difficulties faced in gaining vascular access and the reasons why, we can work together to spread good practice across the NHS to ensure patients will not in future suffer from infections and increased stays in hospital."


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Saturday, 28 January 2006 10:37
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
'MRSA RISK' PATIENTS ON MATERNITY WARD
Health campaigners pressure group London Health Emergency (LHE), are demanding an inquiry after patients thought to be a high MRSA risk were placed in a Surrey hospital's maternity ward.

LHE said concerns were raised in a letter written by a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Epsom Hospital.

The consultant said the patients should never have been placed in such a ward.

Epsom and St Helier Hospitals NHS Trust said: "The situation was far from ideal but they were the only empty beds”.

It added: "Given the exceptional circumstances, with four wards closed due to the winter vomiting virus, it was the only option”.

Consultant Will Burgoyne highlighted his concerns about a number of patients being moved in a letter to the chief executive of the Epsom and St Helier trust.

He suggested it was to comply with targets on A&E waiting times.

"Last March four patients were admitted directly from casualty on to Simon Stewart Ward (a maternity ward), including one long-term resident of a nursing home and another patient who had... an incipient sacral pressure sore," he wrote.

"Both patients were high MRSA risk and should never have been placed in such a ward”.

Mr Burgoyne's letter continued: "The fact that this occurred only weeks after the tragic death of Luke Day ... suggests that the trust management place patient safety a poor second to meeting government targets”.

He said a similar incident happened on a January weekend this year.

"Two high-risk post-surgical patients were transferred onto the maternity ward to allow admissions from casualty, increasing the risk to mothers and vulnerable neonates of contracting a hospital acquired infection”.

He said the protests of midwifery staff were overruled by a non-clinically trained manager.

LHE said placing patients at high risk of MRSA on maternity wards threatened the lives of mothers and newborn babies.

Campaigns organiser Geoff Martin said: "When hospital managers start playing targets with babies' lives it's time for a fundamental change of policy.

"The risks that have been taken at Epsom Hospital are a disgrace and we are demanding an inquiry into how widespread this practice has become”.

A spokeswoman for the NHS trust said two female patients were transferred to a maternity ward from a planned care ward on 15 January.

"The two patients were assessed by clinical staff as appropriate to be transferred to the maternity ward.

"All precautions were taken to keep these patients separate from maternity patients in an isolated bay and were cared for by separate nursing staff and not by midwives.

"These patients were in this area for less than 24 hours and the area thoroughly cleaned after they left”.


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Wednesday, 25 January 2006 09:14
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
HOSPITAL SUPERBUG DEATHS ON INCREASE
Figures have revealed that number of patients dying from a hospital superbug has increased almost tenfold in eight years.

Clostridium difficile was to blame for 98 deaths in Scotland in 2004, compared with only 10 in 1997; the stomach bug is the second-biggest hospital-acquired killer, after MRSA.

Last night, opposition parties called for an urgent probe into the issue.

SNP health spokeswoman Shona Robison said: "I am deeply concerned at these findings. It is unacceptable”.

Health Minister Andy Kerr said the bug was being reported as a cause of death more often because doctors were more aware of it.

He said: "The number of reported cases may appear to rise without there being any real increase in cases”.

Superbug expert Professor Hugh Pennington, based in Aberdeen, has said hospital-acquired infections are "out of control" in Scotland.

He has called for patients and staff to be regularly screened.


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Sunday, 22 January 2006 10:29
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
NO FLOWERS OR CHILDREN VISITORS
Hospital bosses at St Richards in Chichester, Sussex, were yesterday branded barmy after banning flowers and children visitors in the aim to help them fight against the MRSA superbug.

The measures were introduced after outbreaks at the hospital increased from 22 to 25 last year.

A spokeswoman said restricting visitors would help reduce infections and no kids could call unless it was to see a close relative.

She said: "It's about clear access to patients' tables and being able to wipe them down”.

But Jim Morrison, whose mum is being treated for a broken foot, said: "It’s health and safety has gone mad”.


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Wednesday, 04 January 2006 09:43
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
MAN BANS DOCS
Phil Awford, 59, a Tory councillor from Tirley, Gloucs, banned medics at Cheltenham General Hospital from amputating his right leg, despite surgeons warning him that an MRSA bug could kill him.

When the surgeons operated on Phil, at Oxford’s Nuffield Hospital they discovered that the infection was due to a treatable bug MSSA.

Phil is now recovering from a seven-hour op and hopes to walk again within days.

He said yesterday: “I was looking down the barrel of a gun. They did not have the equipment at Cheltenham to find out what the bug was — but amputation was my greatest fear”.


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