‘Un­usual’ bug hits hos­pi­tal

Western Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - STAFF RE­PORTERS

Ad­mis­sions to the Na­tional Burns Cen­tre in south Auck­land have been lim­ited after a ‘‘highly un­usual’’ multi-drug re­sis­tant or­gan­ism in­fected three pa­tients.

The first case – which is thought to have been ac­quired over­seas – was de­tected in a pa­tient on De­cem­ber 10.

In­fec­tion con­trol mea­sures were put in place, but a sec­ond pa­tient was found to be in­fected on Jan­uary 9.

A third pa­tient was iden­ti­fied on Fe­bru­ary 3. The bug is a car­bapenem-re­sis­tant or­gan­ism, or CRO.

Car­bapen­ems are a pow­er­ful group of an­tibi­otics which are used for in­fec­tions where other an­tibi­otics have failed.

‘‘Whilst this is not a con­cern for most of our pa­tients or the vis­it­ing pub­lic, CROs can have se­ri­ous im­pli­ca­tions for pa­tients such as burns pa­tients,’’ Coun­ties Manukau Health’s act­ing chief med­i­cal of­fi­cer Vanessa Thorn­ton said.

‘‘We are tak­ing all the nec­es­sary steps to en­sure these cases are con­tained, man­aged and elim­i­nated be­fore they spread fur­ther.’’

Multi-drug re­sis­tant or­gan­isms were of­ten de­tected in hos­pi­tal pa­tients, but this was quite a unique bug, she said. It was of par­tic­u­lar con­cern be­cause of the pa­tients’ vul­ner­a­bil­ity.

The Na­tional Burns Cen­tre is lo­cated at Mid­dle­more Hos­pi­tal and cares for the most se­vere burn pa­tients from around the coun­try.

‘‘We are tak­ing all the nec­es­sary steps to en­sure these cases are con­tained.’’

Vanessa Thorn­ton

JARRED WIL­LIAMSON/STUFF

Car­bapenem-re­sis­tant or­gan­isms have been de­tected in three pa­tients at the Na­tional Burns Cen­tre.

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