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Hospital-acquired infections fall


30 January, 2008  

The number of hospital-acquired infections is falling, new figures show.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) said there were 1,072 methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) cases in England between July and September 2007, 18% down on the previous quarter’s 1,304 total.

Clostridium difficile (C difficile) in the over-65s dropped 21% from 13,669 to 10,734 over the same period.

And in patients aged between two and 64, C difficile cases dipped from 2,887 to 2,496.

Dr Georgia Duckworth, head of the HPA’s Healthcare-Associated Infection and Antimicrobial Resistance Department, said: “Latest figures show a continuing downward trend, despite a backdrop of increasing workloads and complex patient needs.

“We welcome the changes to the way trusts collect their Clostridium difficile figures as communicated recently by the Department of Health, as this should make the information in future reports more robust.

“However, these changes are not yet reflected in the report published today, as trusts have been given time to review and update their figures in the light of the new criteria.”

Murray Devine, head of safety at the Healthcare Commission, added: “MRSA is clearly moving in the right direction, and the signs on C diff are encouraging.

“However, in both cases there are too many people suffering from these infections. It is terribly important that trusts maintain the pressure.”

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