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MRSA deaths unnecessary

5 October, 2004

Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson, Upper BAnn MLA John O Dowd has said the revelation that MRSA has played a part in 116 deaths over this last seven years is all the more depressing because such deaths can be avoided.

"Last week I welcomed the announcement by Direct Rule health Minister, Angela Smith, of an Infection Control Strategy, and steering group.

"I however cautioned that such strategies to tackle MRSA need resources and the Minister must commit to funding the strategy, the fulfilment of such obligations is now all the more urgent.

"We need to adopt and adapt best practice from elsewhere. Evidence has shown that hospitals can and have eradicated MRSA by introducing stringent practices in and outside the Hospital.

"The level of demand on our hospitals requires very high occupancy rates yet high levels of occupancy push up the risk of infection from MRSA. Increasing capacity is one way to start meeting the high levels of demand while keeping occupancy rates at sensible levels.

"The measures cost money but savings can be made from the fact patients are not being kept in hospital due to infection and more importantly people are not losing their lives due to avoidable hospital based infections. ENDS

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