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Campaign for clean wards

11th December 2006

Singer and presenter Cheryl Baker has launched a campaign to clean up “filthy� hospital wards, reports The Daily Mail.

cherylbaker

In October her mother-in-law, Doreen Ford, was preparing to leave hospital after six weeks of repeated admissions for cancer treatment and a nasty bug which she had finally defeated. Two days later she was dead, having succombed to the hospital superbug, clostridium difficile (C. diff), a bacterial infection which attacks the gastrointestinal tract.

Maidstone District Hospital confirmed that Doreen was one of eight deaths linked to C. diff between April and October, and staff are investigating other possible cases. A total of 139 cases of C. diff were diagnosed in the hospital between April and June.

The C diff. bacterium produces toxins which damage the lining of the bowel. It kills mostly by debilitating sufferers so that they cannot fight off other infections. In Doreen’s case, the C. diff caused septicaemia, which led to her death. Around three per cent of the population carry the bacterium but have no symptoms. At high risk are those over 65 whose immune system has been compromised.

Further information on clostridium difficile can be found on the websites of the Department of Health (www.dh.gov.uk) and the Health Protection Agency (www.hpa.org.uk).

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