Young mum in MRSA 'horror'

A YOUNG mother has spoken of her horror after she contracted a superbug infection that still threatens her newborn baby.Kelly Youngs contracted MRSA after giving birth to Gracie Leeks at the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds.

Will Clarke

A YOUNG mother has spoken of her horror after she contracted a superbug infection that still threatens her newborn baby.

Kelly Youngs contracted MRSA after giving birth to Gracie Leeks at the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds.

She blames cleanliness on the wards where she recovered from a caesarean operation and she has been warned her 18-day-old daughter could still contract the potentially lethal infection.

The 22-year-old dental nurse from Boxford said: “Everything was fine and I was really excited about going in. Becoming a mum is meant to be the most brilliant time of your life.

“Gracie was born on March 9 but by the time I came home on the 14th I was already beginning to feel unwell with high blood pressure and a temperature.

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“I don't know when I contracted MRSA but I shouldn't have been sent home. I started to feel really unwell and I lost three and half stone so we went to Hadleigh Surgery where they took a swab.

“When I was told I had MRSA I was disgusted. I went in to have a baby and I came out with that. I couldn't enjoy the first weeks with Gracie - I was in bed all of the time and I couldn't hold her.

“Gracie could still have it and that adds to the worry - we have been told to watch her closely but so far so good.”

Ms Youngs said she is convinced standards on the general ward are the source of her infection. She praised the maternity unit but during recovery she said her requests for pain killers and clean sheets went unheeded.

Among the most serious claims Ms Youngs' and her partner, Adam Leeks, are making is that staff moved from patient to patient without using the disinfecting alcohol sprays supplied to clean their hands.

Mr Leeks said the couple had lodged a formal complaint about the quality of care at the hospital, which is being handled by Ms Youngs' mother.

A spokeswoman for the West Suffolk Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We are concerned to hear about this young woman's experience. However, we do not have a problem with staffing levels.

“We do have rigorous infection control and cleanliness policies in place and remind staff, visitors and patients to keep their hands clean.

“To date, the trust as a whole has recorded a total 14 cases of MRSA during 2007/08, of which nine were hospital acquired.

“In 2006/07 there were a total of 27 cases. Each case of MRSA is investigated thoroughly to find what may have contributed to it, as every case is one too many.”

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