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Friday, 13 December, 2002, 12:08 GMT
'Hospital superbug killed my wife'
Dr Roger Arthur
Dr Roger Arthur wants hospital hygiene to improve
The number of deaths linked to the hospital superbug MRSA is on the increase, researchers have found.

Dr Roger Arthur, a former GP whose wife Patricia died of MRSA last year, tells BBC News Online why he is campaigning to improve hospital hygiene.


Patricia Arthur, 73, who went into St Helier hospital in Carshalton, Surrey, had a benign obstruction to her bowel.

She underwent a small 10-minute operation to clear it and remained in hospital to recover.

But Dr Arthur, of New Malden, Surrey, said his wife started to feel unwell a few hours after returning home.

"I couldn't get her back into hospital the next morning because they said her bed was taken, but they said she could go in as a private patient, so I paid 2,000 for that."

All I wanted to do was prevent the same thing happening to other people

Roger Arthur
Dr Arthur had requested a blood test for MRSA infection during his wife's first stay in hospital after becoming aware that other patients on the ward were infected.

It confirmed his wife had MRSA.

Prevention

He said patients with MRSA had been on his wife's ward during her first stay.

"In St Helier, they had a principle where MRSA patients were put on special wards, but they were all full.

"After she was readmitted, she deteriorated over the next three days, and died of septicaemia."

Her cause of death was registered as MRSA septicaemia (blood poisoning).

Instead of flowers for his wife's funeral, Dr Arthur asked for contributions to the hospital hygiene campaign he was setting up.

He said: "I've never been interested in litigation. I can't do anything about what's happened.

"All I wanted to do was prevent the same thing happening to other people.

"I want cleanliness to be the most important thing in any doctor's training, and in the retraining of older doctors.

"It should be absolutely supreme for all staff."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Dr Roger Arthur, husband of MRSA victim
"The older techniques of antiseption should be brought back"
The BBC's Sophie Hutchinson
"The MRSA bacteria is carried harmlessly by most of us"
See also:

13 Dec 02 | Health
17 Sep 02 | Health
17 Feb 00 | Health
14 Mar 02 | Health
12 Jun 00 | Health
13 Dec 02 | Health
Links to more Health stories are at the foot of the page.


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