Third patient dies after C-diff infection at ERI

A third person has died at the ERI. Picture: Greg Macvean

A third person has died at the ERI. Picture: Greg Macvean

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A third patient has died after a cluster of cases of Clostridium difficile at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

NHS Lothian says the patient died yesterday from an underlying cause, following another illness.

The patient had the infection, commonly known as C-diff, but was very unwell from another illness for which they were receiving treatment.

Investigations are continuing into the cluster of cases of infection in wards, but no new cases have been identified.

Melanie Johnson, Executive Nurse Director, NHS Lothian, said: “I would like to express my sincere condolences to the family of the patient who died .

“Investigations are ongoing to establish if there is a link between the cases, but we don’t expect to have the results of forensic samples until January, which is a normal timescale for this infection.

“In the meantime, infection control measures have been enhanced and will remain in place. No new cases have been identified.

“If a cluster emerges, we always act as if cases are linked and implement action to prevent cross transmission.

“Our robust surveillance procedures meant that we were able to identify these cases quickly and take the appropriate action.”

Fourteen patients were originally affected by the infection, commonly known as C-diff, which was identified in early November.

Two of the 14 patients died from underlying conditions after also testing positive for the infection in the days before their death. The latest death brings the number to three.

Since the cluster was identified four patients have recovered and been discharged home.

The seven patients, who remain in hospital, are being cared for in isolation.

Infection prevention and control procedures have been reinforced to help protect them, other patients, staff and visitors. The five affected wards remain open.

Samples are currently being tested to establish if any of the identified cases are linked, although results are not expected until January.

Affected patients in the ward and their relatives have been told about the infection and the actions that have been taken so far have been explained to them.

Nursing and medical staff are on hand to answer any other questions or concerns from visitors and patients themselves.

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