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C diff deaths in Scotland increase

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The number of deaths from C difficile in Scotland has increased, according to annual data from the country’s devolved government.

Scottish Government figures show 248 people died in Scotland in 2008 where C difficile was the main cause of death, an increase of 28 (12.7%) compared with 2007.

The number of deaths where C difficile was mentioned on the death certificate as a contributory factor also increased by 140 (37%) to 517.

Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon attributed the rise to a spike in the number of deaths at the beginning of the year.

The number of deaths in the first quarter of 2008 was 75, at the same time as an outbreak at Vale of Leven hospital near Glasgow, falling to 42 in the last quarter.

She said: ‘While the overall number of deaths linked to C diff rose in 2008, it is encouraging that the number fell steadily throughout the year. More specifically, comparing the last quarter in 2008 to that of 2007 the drop is nearly 30%.’

The number of deaths where MRSA was the underlying factor decreased by eight (14%) to 48 and the number of deaths where MRSA contributed to death also fell by eight (4.6%) to 166.

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