Obama’s note to self: when in doubt, blame infection.
Scores of deaths at a hospital may have been wrongly attributed to septicaemia, a report has found.
An independent analysis of the “coding” of 150 cases at the Royal Bolton hospital found more than half did not “meet national standards”. Coding, the classification of conditions, is used by medics in treatment and analysis.
An interim report, by health watchdog Dr Foster, was commissioned by the Bolton NHS foundation trust after it found an “unusually high number” of deaths had been put down to septicaemia. Dr Jackie Bene, the trust’s acting chief executive, stepped aside last week pending an inquiry.
Septicaemia, an infection which enters the bloodstream, is coded differently from other illnesses and septicaemia deaths do not affect hospital mortality figures.
The hospital recorded 800 cases of septicaemia between March 2011 and April 2012 – a similar sized trust would expect to have just 200. A more in-depth review has now been ordered by the clinical commissioning group, which is replacing the primary care trust, and is expected to focus more closely on fatal cases.
Responding to the report, the Royal Bolton hospital said it was “important to note that the report raises no concerns about standards of treatment and care”.
Course not! Just because you had to disguise 600 deaths as infection, rather than whatever the hell else it was, doesn’t mean people were getting anything less than tip-top medical care.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has sent out a warning to hospitals about a new antibiotic-resistant bacteria, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE. While this strain of bacteria is not new, it has become more common in the last 10 years or so, and has now become prevalent enough to warrant a higher level of concern.
I don’t doubt CRE is every bit as nasty as MRSA, C. difficile and all the other flesh-eating and incurable bacteria. But even bacteria have feelings, and I will not see CRE libeled by officious medical personnel trying to shift blame from their own shoddy practice, in Britain or here!