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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 June 2005, 10:28 GMT 11:28 UK
'Superbug stopped my mother walking'
Handwashing
Mrs Anderson says staff did not follow hygiene rules
A committee of MPs has criticised the NHS for a "fog of ignorance" around hospital-acquired infections.

Christine Anderson's 89-year-old mother, Anita Osbourne, contracted MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) while she was in hospital for a hip replacement.

Christine told BBC Radio Five Live: "She was living a very good life.

"She could walk to the end of the street and get on the bus, she ran her own home and she cooked for herself."

But then Christine's mother broke her hip in a fall, and went into hospital for a hip replacement.

They told us that the only way to treat it was by removing the hip replacement, which would mean she wouldn't be able to walk again
Christine Anderson

Tests when Mrs Osbourne went in, and two days after her operation showed she was free of MRSA.

But a week later, doctors discovered she had contracted the superbug.

Isolation

Christine said: "They told us it was an absolutely terrible infection.

"They said the only way to treat it was by removing the hip replacement, which would mean she wouldn't be able to walk again."

Christine said "My mother was moved from bed to bed on numerous occasions. Fourteen hours after one move, another patient's blood stained dressing still lay under her chair and cold tea with used straw was still on the locker.

"And while she was in isolation, one nurse removed bloodstained dressings from her arm with her bare hands, returning five minutes later to serve the evening meal to vulnerable elderly people many with fresh operation wound sites.

"Another nurse removed her protective gloves to pick up my mother's bloodstained nightie."

Christine said she was not offered any alcohol gel until her mother's ninth day in isolation.

The hospital assured Mrs Anderson hand-washing regulations were in place and were followed.

But she said: "I checked supplies of the alcohol gels over two weeks and found they were always empty."

Mrs Osbourne was in hospital for five months, and now lives in a nursing home.


SEE ALSO:
NHS trust sees biggest MRSA rise
23 Jun 05 |  West Yorkshire
Q&A: MRSA 'superbugs'
24 Feb 05 |  Health


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