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Killer virus shuts ward at City Hospital

23rd September 2008

PATIENTS were today quarantined and banned from receiving visitors after being struck down by a suspected potential killer bug on a ward at a Birmingham hospital.

Ward D11 at City Hospital, in Winson Green, was sealed off yesterday lunchtime in a bid to stop any virus spreading from ward to ward.

It remained closed today as infection control experts waited for test results from patients for the winter bug norovirus and diarrhoea and sickness bug Clostridium difficile(C.diff).

A spokeswoman for Sandwell and West Birmingham Trust, which runs City and Sandwell hospitals, said: “Ward D11 is the only ward in the trust which has been closed down. We are waiting for test results to come back and ascertain if there is an outbreak. Tests have been done for norovirus and C.diff and we cannot yet confirm what this bug is.

“A number of patients started showing certain symptoms over the weekend, which caused concern, so the ward was shut to new patients and relatives were told not to visit.

“Meetings are taking place through the day and the situation is being constantly reviewed.”

Karen Tomlinson, whose mother Phyllis Moran is recovering on Ward D11 from a stroke, said it was worrying for family members to be unable to see their sick relatives in hospital.

“My mother was only moved on to the ward on Saturday and we were not allowed to visit her on Sunday,” said Mrs Tomlinson, from Nechells.

“My mum is 81-years-old and will be frightened and missing us. Being told we can’t see her because of an outbreak of a bug is extremely worrying.”

Five wards at the trust were shut down and visitors banned from Sandwell Hospital, in West Bromwich, and Rowley Regis Hospital, in April in the worst bout of the Norovirus bug this year.

The virus that causes vomiting and diarrhoea swept through Priory 3 and 4 wards and Lyndon 4 and 5 at Sandwell and a rehabilitation ward at Rowley Regis.

Heartlands Hospital, in Bordesley Green, and Sutton Coldfield’s Good Hope Hospital were both forced to cancel all routine operations due to winter bugs sweeping through the region in January.

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