Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

I Tell Nurses to Wash Their Hands ( Others Aren't as Bold So They Suffer

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

I Tell Nurses to Wash Their Hands ( Others Aren't as Bold So They Suffer

Article excerpt

Byline: By Louise Redvers

Concerns have been raised over MRSA infection rates on Tyneside kidney wards.

According to Kidney Research UK, of 226 people on dialysis at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary and Freeman Hospital, 48 got an infection and 16 people had MRSA.

MRSA was found in 16 people ( 7% of dialysis patients, and nearly twice the national average of 4%.

Overall one in five dialysis patients in Newcastle got an infection between March 2004 and April last year.

Shaun McCowie, 44, of Chapel House, who has been on dialysis for 16 years, said: "I'm not shocked by these figures. The staff just don't wash their hands enough. It's as simple as that and this is not acceptable.

"I've not personally had an infection for a while, but that's because I'm the kind of person who tells nurses to wash their hands when they come over. Not everyone is as bold as me and they're suffering as a result."

Kidney Research UK says dialysis methods are to blame for high infection rates in Newcastle, where only 56% of patients are given fistula treatment, via vein and artery, compared with 69% nationally and the Government target of 80%.

The alternative method is to give patients "lines" into their chest and neck, which leaves them more vulnerable to infection.

Caroline Quinn, secretary of the Tyneside Kidney Patients' Association, said: "We have raised our concerns about hygiene a number of times. It's a perennial problem to get staff to stick to the rules and wash their hands. This is a serious issue that needs to be addressed."

A dialysis patient in her 50s, who did not want to be named, said: "I do think the hygiene could be improved. They're so busy all the time, though.

"They work very hard. I've been going so long they're like family but I don't know if they've got enough time to follow all the cleaning procedures. …

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