Superbug hits Ravenscourt Park Hospital

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A senior BBC reporter has raised serious concerns about hygiene standards after becoming infected with a so-called superbug. Mike Baker, writing in the Evening Standard, told how he picked up an infection in the Ravenscourt Park Hospital following a routine operation on his knee. The 47 year old journalist is unlikely to play his favourite sport of hockey again and still finds it painful to walk. Following surgery at the hospital he woke up and had a coughing fit during which he spat up blood. He had suffered a pulmonary oedema but despite this he was sent home the following day.

Immediately his knee swelled up and he developed a seriously high temperature. He was admitted to Kingston Hospital A&E where he was diagnosed with a serious infection. He had MSSA - methicillinsensitive staphylococcus aureus - which is similar to MRSA, but less deadly because it responds better to treatment with anti-biotics.

He spent three weeks in Kingston Hospital and although he was full of praise for the standards of clinical care he was scathingly critical of basic hygiene measures. Although he believes he picked up the original infection at the Ravenscourt Park Hospital he described Kingston as being far dirtier.

Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust which runs Ravenscourt Park Hospital did not respond to a request for comment on hygiene standards.

August 19, 2004