C diff strikes Highlands hospital

20 Jan 2012

A hospital in Inverness has seen an outbreak of the Clostridium difficile (C diff) infection with seven cases in the last month.

NHS Highland confirmed the outbreak of the bug at Raigmore Hospital where a ward has been shut and some non-emergency surgeries have been cancelled.

Four patients on two wards are still affected and they were suffering a mild infection, according to assessments, but should recover over the next few days. Two other patients were discharged.

However, one sufferer who was seriously ill and admitted as an emergency, died from an existing condition soon after admittance. NHS Highland said the victim contracted C diff from the community.

The bacterium, which causes diarrhoea and high temperatures, can be spread by poor hygiene and in faeces through spores allowing the bacteria to survive.

Patients taking strong antibiotics are particularly affected and many hospital patients are on antibiotics and therefore may be sick anyway, which makes them more susceptible to an attack from C diff.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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