Family want answers about MRSA

THE family of a man who died from pneumonia after contracting MRSA have called for more to be done to stop the spread of the killer bug.William Chandler, 77, died at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford on October 1 last year.

By Juliette Maxam

THE family of a man who died from pneumonia after contracting MRSA have called for more to be done to stop the spread of the killer bug.

William Chandler, 77, died at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford on October 1 last year. His family believe he caught the bug while he was a patient.

But yesterday at an inquest in Chelmsford into Mr Chandler's death, Essex Assistant Deputy Coroner Chinyere Inyama said it was impossible to say where he had contracted MRSA.

Mr Chandler was admitted to the hospital on September 7 with a broken hip and urinary and kidney infections.

Doctors did not want to operate until the infections had cleared up. But, after eight days in hospital, he was still too unwell for surgery and so was discharged to St George's nursing home, Witham, where he had lived for about a year.

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Mr Chandler's son, Paul, said doctors told him if his father remained in hospital any longer he would be liable to catch something else.

He returned to hospital on September 25, when he was diagnosed with MRSA. He died on October 1, of bronchial pneumonia with MRSA and a broken hip.

Mr Chandler's son, Paul, and widow, Annie, said they wanted to know if he had caught MRSA in Broomfield Hospital.

Pathologist Dr Salim Al-Sam, who carried out a post mortem examination on Mr Chandler, said: “In general MRSA is a hospital-acquired infection but it can be contracted in nursing homes and normal environments, but it's less likely. It's more likely in hospital.”

But Mr Inyama said: “We can't say whether it was contracted at hospital or the home. I don't think anybody can.”

He recorded a narrative verdict concluding Mr Chandler died from multiple infections.

After the inquest, Mr Chandler's son and widow called for a greater enforcements to stop MRSA.

“It's only going to get more common with people catching it more. More needs to be done,” he said

They said they had to wear gowns and gloves when visiting Mr Chandler in hospital once he had been diagnosed with MRSA but the same rules did not apply to nurses.

A spokeswoman from Mid Essex Hospital Services Trust, which runs Broomfield Hospital, said: “Tackling MRSA and other hospital acquired infections is a top priority for the trust and a number of initiatives have been put in place to address this.”

“In addition, hand wash gel is placed at the entrance to all hospital wards, a new staff uniform policy is being launched, there are staff in all key clinical areas with responsibility for infection control and root cause analysis is carried out on every positive MRSA test.”

Nurses are only expected to put gowns on when they have close contact with infected patients, she added.

Mr Chandler, who worked as a gardener and caterer at Bridge Hospital, Witham, for 23 years, also had diabetes, Parkinson's Disease, and Alzheimer's Disease.

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