Galway University Hospitals report high levels of dangerous superbug

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Galway University Hospitals had the second highest number of infections reported of the deadly superbug CPE last year.

A report from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre shows that 56 patients at GUH were infected with the superbug Carbapenemase Producing Enterobacterales (CPE) in 2018.

That’s the second highest number of recorded infections of any of Ireland’s acute hospitals after Tallaght University Hospital which saw 78 infections.

CPE is the most difficult of all superbugs to kill with antibiotics according to the HSE, which warns that the number of cases in Ireland have risen dramatically in recent years.

Antibiotic resistant bugs are serious risk to the lives of hospital patients, both because they are difficult to treat and because hospital patients generally already have compromised health.

The bug lives in the gut, where it is harmless, but is incredibly dangerous if it finds its way into the bloodstream.

More than half of patients who contract CPE are killed as a result of the infection.

Galway University Hospitals encompasses both UHG and Merlin Park Hospital, and is part of the Saolta University Hospital Group.

There were seven CPE cases at GUH in January according to the latest figures from the HPSC, higher than any other hospital except for Beaumont, which reported 12 cases.

The HPSC report highlighted that a number of infected patients at acute hospitals weren’t put in single rooms, increasing the risk of further infections by keeping the close to other sick people.