Friday, 29 February 2008

Ten patients a day killed by C.diff bug

NEARLY 10 people are dying every day from the superbug Clostridium difficile.

Official figures show 6,480 death certificates in 2006 mentioned the bug, compared with 3,757 the year before - a rise of 72 per cent.

The increase comes after the Government told doctors in 2005 to note healthcare-acquired infections on death certificates.

The number which gave C.diff as the underlying cause of death rose from 2,063 in 2005 to 3,490 in 2006 in England and Wales - almost 10 a day.

Prof Brian Duerden, the Government's chief microbiologist, said the rise in death certificates mentioning C.diff was due to better reporting and overall infection rates were falling.

He added: "Since 2006 we have taken significant steps to tackle infections. These include stringent hand-washing guidance for the NHS, a bare-below-the- elbows dress code, putting matrons back in charge of cleanliness on their wards and an ongoing deep clean of every ward."