Superbug can’t be singled out as cause of patient’s death

2011-10-18 14:18

A “superbug” could not be singled out as the cause of death of a third infected person at the Life Glynnwood hospital in Benoni, the hospital said today.

“This patient had been admitted to hospital some weeks earlier in a critical condition, and (New Delhi metallo-b-lactamase 1) cannot be singled out as the cause of death,” the hospital said in a statement.

Three patients out of 10 diagnosed with NDM-1 were still being treated at the hospital, Life Glynnwood said. This included the 10th patient with confirmed NDM-1.

That patient had been treated in strict isolation last week as a precautionary measure while the hospital waited for test results, it said.
Four of the confirmed NDM-1 patients had already been discharged.

Management and staff continued working closely with local infectious disease experts, microbiologists and specialists at the hospital.

Steps had been taken – based on international and national guidelines – to prevent the spread of the bacteria in the hospital, the hospital said.

All new patients admitted to the intensive care or high-care unit were being tested for NDM-1.

Yesterday, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases said patients infected with the bug already had advanced disease due to underlying chronic illness.

It was likely that the “co-morbidities” played a major role in their deaths.

The “superbug” emanates from NDM-1, which produces an enzyme that makes it extremely resistant to antibiotics.

The hospital said NDM-1-producing bacteria could be traced back to people who had recently visited India or received medical treatment there.

However, the ability of NDM-1 bacterial resistance to spread rapidly meant that secondary infections unrelated to travel to the Indian subcontinent had begun to surface around the world.

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