Three months for C-diff alert
THE infection control doctor at Vale of Leven Hospital was unaware of the superbug outbreak until THREE months after she started, a probe heard last week.
Dr Linda Bagrade became responsible for the Alexandria hospital in the middle of the deadly Clostridium difficile (C-diff) infection in February 2008 but didn't realise it was spreading among patients until April.
The inquiry at Maryhill Community Halls in Glasgow heard she didn't check weekly reports detailing the number of people who had contracted the infection in each ward, which would have indicated whether there was an outbreak.
The revelation came after she was recalled to give evidence in the final phase of the public inquiry into the worst case of C-diff ever recorded in Scotland.
The authorities are investigating the treatment of 60 people and the deaths of 39 patients at the hospital between December 2007 and June 2008.
On Wednesday Colin McAulay, senior counsel to the inquiry, said: \"How long had you been in post as infection control doctor before you came to realise there was a real problem?\" Dr Bagrade replied: \"I can't remember, actually, when we got this information about the first C-diff isolate from reference lab.
It might be sometime in April.
So I started in February - February, March, two, three months.\" Mr McAulay then focused on the weekly reports which would have been one way of her to find out how many patients had been isolated each week.
He said: \"Although you were the infection control doctor for the Vale of Leven, you never looked at the reports for the Vale of Leven Hospital?\" Dr Bagrade said: \"No, because they were not designed to be a surveillance tool.
That was just a reflection of what has happened for that week in the lab and what exactly we are reporting to Health Protection Scotland.
\"So, for us, it was more or less to make sure that this report makes sense, that there are no silly mistakes, for example, some mistakes in the names of bacteria or somebody reported twice.
\"It was never, ever designed to be a surveillance tool.\" Mr McAulay then asked her if viewing the reports would have proved helpful in identifying if there was a cause for concern.
Dr Bagrade said: \"Yes, you would see the numbers of positive isolates reported for that week, but to do it properly, then I would need to see them every week, and then it would become a surveillance tool, but it wasn't designed to be.\" The inquiry before Lord McLean continues.
This article appeared in Dumbarton & Vale of Leven Reporter 08 Jun 12
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