Deadly golden staph bacteria found in major hospitals

Fairfield, Westmead and Concord public hospitals were each found to have the bacteria, while Royal Prince Alfred and Royal North Shore hospitals were cleared, Channel Seven reported today. Infants, the elderly and patients with suppressed immune systems are commonly the most susceptible to picking up the bacteria. "It can increase the sickness and morbidity of the patient,'' University of NSW School of Public Health spokeswoman Mary-Louise McLaws told Seven. The bacteria can cause the disease Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA).

The network found that cases of MRSA occur more often in New South Wales than any other Australian state or territory and is twice as likely to occur in NSW than it is in South Australia or Western Australia. "It does cause people to die,'' College of Surgeons spokesman Richard West said. About 12 per cent of intensive care unit patients contract some kind of infection during their hospital stay, Dr West said. ''... A number of them will die from the infection,'' he said.

Stopping the spread of golden staph can be as easy as ensuring hospital staff wash their hands before making contact with patients. "Patients should insist that doctors and nurses in the hospitals who are attending to them wash their hands before they examine the patients,'' Dr West said. NSW Health Minister Reba Meagher declined network invitations to comment on the matter. Source: The Australian.

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