The Times on page 19, Tuesday 25th February reports: “Superbug Surgeon must tell patients”. Unfortunately it is not on the website. The reports says:
“A surgeon who infected 11 patients – five fatally – with an antibiotic resistant bug should disclose this information so that people may decide if they want the High Court has heard…
John Chen Lui Lu, a consultant heart specialist at the Trent Cardiac Centre at Nottingham City Hospital, was banned from performing surgery after the deaths in 2009…….”
It follows CTVnews in the USA saying of Hospital reports that “One in twelve patients carries antibiotic resistant “superbug”.
and Trisha Torrey on October 05, 2013 in About.com (Patient empowerment) which advises: MRSA, C.Diff, VRE, CRE and Other Superbug Hospital Acquired Infections – From Hospitals to the Community, Superbugs Are Everywhere
It is routine for patients to be swabbed before Hospital admission. There are certainly more and more of these bugs in our society and this seems a sensible way to try to reduce cross infection and iatrogenesis. However, it is not routine for staff to be swabbed regularly. I have never understood why, but if the results were to be made overt by “freedom of information”, and if it was found that a patient had died of the same bug, you can imagine the potential for litigation. In addition the health service could be bought to a standstill as there would be many surgeons and nurses stopped from doing surgery! When I had my hip operated on I was concerned about the cross infection potential, and I could not get a meaningful reply to my questions about why the staff were not swabbed. It is more important to be honest than to protect the public from unpleasant information. Indeed, it’s the same problem with rationing… The public deserve to know the honest truth – that rationing is happening, and then we can debate the most ethical ways to ration….