Hospitals may become criminally liable for MRSA infection, UK
If the Labour government's plans materialise, hospitals may become criminally liable for MRSA infection.
Patricia Hewitt would like to make it easier for patients to sue for medical negligence. She said it is wrong for factories to have stricter hygiene laws than the country's hospitals.
N.B.Health is a devolved issue in Scotland. Any decision on the issue to criminalise hospitals would have to be taken by the Scottish Parliament.
What is MRSA?
SOURCE: University of Edinburgh
The organism Staphylococcus aureus is found on many individuals skin and seems to cause no major problems. However if it gets inside the body, for instance under the skin or into the lungs, it can cause important infections such as boils or pneumonia. Individuals who carry this organism are usually totally healthy, have no problems whatever and are considered simply to be carriers of the organism.
The term MRSA or methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus is used to describe those examples of this organism that are resistant to commonly used antibiotics. Methicillin was an antibiotic used many years ago to treat patients with Staphylococcus aureus infections. It is now no longer used except as a means of identifying this particular type of antibiotic resistance.
Individuals can become carriers of MRSA in the same way that they can become a carrier of ordinary Staphylococcus aureus which is by physical contact with the organism. If the organism is on the skin then it can be passed around by physical contact. If the organism is in the nose or is associated with the lungs rather than the skin then it may be passed around by droplet spread from the mouth and nose. We can find out if and where Staphylococcus aureus is located on a patient by taking various samples, sending them to the laboratory and growing the organism. Tests done on any Staphylococcus aureus grown from such specimens can then decide how sensitive the organisms is to antibiotics and if it is a methicillin resistant (MRSA) organism. These test usually take 2-3 days.
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