2005-09-28

Health: Paisley Maternity MRSA

Five babies in 'The Royal Alexandra Hospital' in Paisley have been affected by the MRSA superbug, it has emerged. The superbug is said to have 'colonised' the babies, meaning it is on their skin but is not harming them... Mr.Graham Stewart, consultant paediatrician at the hospital, said one baby had been discharged and four others were in a stable condition. The hospital has launched an investigation and tightened its infection control procedures. Mr.Stewart said:
'The condition of the five babies is not adversely affected by the fact that they have been colonised with MRSA. 'One baby has been discharged and the remaining four babies are in a stable condition and are being cared for in our special care baby unit for other reasons.' 'The parents of the children identified with MRSA have been kept fully informed and we will continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis.'
Two babies were found to be colonised by the bug on their arrival into the unit in August. A third was found to have been affected by 2005-09-09 and hospital bosses decided to screen all the babies in the unit. Another two were identified by the tests. The hospital has launched an investigation into the source of the bug. Ms.Elizabeth Biggs, infection control doctor, said:
'The infection control team has been checking the ward environment for MRSA and the screening of staff has been undertaken. 'Results of environmental and staff screening have proved negative and further screening is currently in progress.'
BBC Scotland's Mr.Alan Mackay said the incident was a huge concern for the parents of the babies and for the hospital. He added:
'Let's remember, every hospital in the country takes special measures to try to beat MRSA. 'These newborns were in the special care unit at Paisley for other reasons and the MRSA hadn't reached the stage of infection.
'It had colonised on their skin - in other words, the babies weren't any weaker than they would otherwise have been.'
MRSA stands for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, but is shorthand for any strain of Staphylococcus bacteria which is resistant to one or more conventional antibiotics. Many people naturally carry it in their throats, and it can cause a mild infection in a healthy patient. 'MRSA scare in hospital baby unit', BBCNews, 2005/09/27 20:21:18 GMT

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