The tip of the superbug iceberg

Rawson, Edwina
March 2008
Clinical Risk;Mar2008, Vol. 14 Issue 2, p72
Academic Journal
Thousands of patients die or are made seriously ill by healthcare infections, popularly known as 'superbugs'. This is a fact. It is also a fact that a proportion of these could have been avoided if hospitals and staff were, simply, cleaner. The press is littered with heartbreaking stories of superbugs: 33 die and 334 are infected due to an outbreak of Clostridium difficile at Stoke Mandeville Hospital; 90 die following a similar outbreak at Maidstone Hospital; a two-day old baby dies from MRSA at Ipswich Hospital; a mother dies of MRSA shortly after giving birth at Stoke-on-Trent Hospital; a young nurse dies, a male patient nearly dies and 17 others are infected after a pseudomonas outbreak at Guy's Hospital. There are many others. It is a major national problem. Despite this, we are told only of the tip of the iceberg. In addition, one would hope that the law provided appropriate redress to superbug victims, but this is often not the case.


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