C diff deaths soar28th February 2008
Statistics released by the Office for National Statistics reveal that deaths associated with the C difficile bug have risen sharply.
In 2005 and 2006 deaths where Clostridium difficile was mentioned "on the death certificate" increased by 72% to 6,480. There was an increase of 77% in male cases and 66% in female cases. Over 50% of cases showed the bug was the main factor in causing death.
In 2001 the infection was only mentioned on 1,200 death certificates.
By contrast, MRSA deaths stayed roughly the same for 2005 and 2006, with about 1,650 cases.
In July 2005 a call was made for better recording of these types of infections on death certificates, according to Professor Brian Duerden, chief microbiologist at the Department of Health.
"These statistics from 2006 show that this move has worked and our figures are now in line with other developed countries," he said.
He added that from 2006 infections such as C diff had been targeted by hand-washing programmes and deep cleans, and as a result infection rates were reducing.
In November 2007, the Health Protection Agency said the number of C diff infections were down 7% to 13,660, with MRSA cases also decreasing.
Shadow health secretary, Andrew Lansley said: "Almost three times as many people are now killed by hospital infections as are killed on the roads each year."
He called the numbers "unacceptable" and said the government needed to do more to tackle the problem.
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Title: C diff deaths soar
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 5819
Date Added: 28th Feb 2008