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Family in MRSA hospital rumpus

PUBLISHED: 15:38 08 May 2008 | UPDATED: 11:02 03 July 2010

A FAMILY has angrily hit out at the treatment of an elderly relative who they claim was discharged from hospital after contracting MRSA.

Irene Cutler, 82, who suffers from dementia was admitted to the James Paget University Hospital on Friday suffering from a suspected slight stroke.

A FAMILY has angrily hit out at the treatment of an elderly relative who they claim was discharged from hospital after contracting MRSA.

Irene Cutler, 82, who suffers from dementia was admitted to the James Paget University Hospital on Friday suffering from a suspected slight stroke.

The partner of Mrs Cutler's daughter, Fred Learmonth said: “Staff at the Mildred Stone Home where Irene lives, became concerned about her condition on Friday afternoon and had her admitted to the hospital. But they didn't let her daughter know until later that evening.”

He added it was decided to discharge Mrs Cutler on Wednesday and she was allegedly told she has MRSA.

Daughter Jean Williams rang the hospital and says she was told that her mother would have to live with it.

Care staff at the Great Yarmouth home have refused to comment.

A spokesman for the JPUH said: “We can't comment on individual cases as this is personal information. But I would say it is extremely unlikely a patient would be discharged if it was known that he or she was suffering from MRSA. But there is a procedure the family can through by contacting our Patients Advice and Liaison Service or if they are still not satisfied they can write a letter of complaint to our complaints department.”

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said they could not comment on individual cases either but did give a statement to the Mercury.

It said: “We always ensure that people living within our care homes service receive the appropriate health care they need and work with the health care services to make sure that they are appropriately looked after.

“We are working closely with NHS Norfolk and other healthcare providers to create a system-wide strategy for tackling healthcare associated infection. Residents in most care homes are at no greater risk of MRSA infection than the general population. Nevertheless, we understand the need to practice good hygiene at all times to help prevent the spread of all infections, not just MRSA. As the provider of 26 of the county's 376 care homes, we issue clear and comprehensive hygiene advice to all our care staff, as well as what to do if a resident is found to have MRSA.”

A medical website gives detail of the condition. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection is caused by a bacteria, often called staph. The condition was one of the first germs to outwit all but the most powerful drugs. Staph bacteria is normally found on the skin or in the nose of about one-third of the population. It is generally harmless unless it enters the body through a cut or other wound, and even then they often cause only minor skin problems in healthy people. But in older adults and people who are ill or have weakened immune systems, ordinary staph infections can cause serious illness.


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