Health worker 'was potential source of MRSA' at University Hospital of North Staffordshire
AN OUTBREAK of MRSA at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire could have been caused by a member of staff bringing the infection into work, it has emerged.
Traces of the superbug were found on the skin of seven patients who had just undergone breast surgery during the summer.
The infections were spotted and treated in time to prevent the patients falling ill and the bug spreading further.
The MRSA did not show up when the patients were screened on their arrival at hospital.
The theatre where the surgery had taken place was immediately sealed off to new non-urgent cases to allow the cleaning to be carried out and an investigation launched.
Restrictions on all but emergency operations stayed in place for several days and included some cancer cases being shelved.
The review has now reported that the MRSA was also found in a health worker.
Dr Ken Deacon, medical director with the local primary care trusts, said: "The member of staff tested positive with the same gene of MRSA found in the patients. But we cannot say if he or she was the source – or it was one of the patients. This cluster all occurred in the same theatre and our inquiry found all the patients had been screened as being negative before their operations."