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Deaths review ordered after hospital infection outbreak

A hospital trust has ordered a review of potential death and harm caused by an outbreak of a serious healthcare-acquired infection, which is resistant to many antibiotics.

Frimley Health Foundation Trust has seen outbreaks of carbapenemase-producing enterobacterales (CPE) at both its Frimley Park and Wexham Park sites, starting in the middle of last year, it has emerged. In total, it identified 94 new CPE cases in 2023–24 compared with just 20 in total in 2022–23.

It is not clear what the outcomes were for patients infected with CPE, which is associated with a high mortality rate but often infects patients who are already seriously ill. The trust has commissioned a mortality and morbidity review but refused to answer any questions about it before publication.

CPE bacteria are resistant to many antibiotics, including carbapenems, which are broad-spectrum drugs used to treat serious infections. CPE infections pose a particular risk to vulnerable patients and can spread rapidly in hospitals. There has been increasing concern about them in the UK, with reporting requirements increasing and screening and testing of patients stepping up.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 4 July 2024


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