Hospital exposed patients to infection

Patients at Karolinska University Hospital in Solna were housed last summer in the same department as those with the resistant MRSA bacteria.

The hospital took a deliberate decision to deviate from infection regulations due to a shortage of space, according to a report in Dagens Nyheter.

The hospital’s internal documentation shows that the Chief Medical Officer Stefan Engqvist in consultation with the hospital’s infection and hygiene physicians decided to make the exception, initially for a duration of six days and then extended to 12 days.

During this time around ten patients who were not infected with MRSA were accommodated in the department.

According to Stefan Engqvist the patients were exposed to a calculated risk. The risk for their health had been greater had they not been submitted to hospital at all, he told the newspaper.

Otto Cars, a professor in infectious diseases and chairperson of Stram, the group which works to counter resistance to antibiotics in Sweden, has expressed concern that this decision is a bad omen for the future.

“Lack of space and overcrowding is a decisive question for the whole of the healthcare system. This will determine how we shall meet the threat from resistant bacteria in the future,” he said to the newspaper.

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