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Overcrowding to blame for MRSA

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Overcrowded and understaffed hospitals are responsible for failures to control MRSA, according to experts.

A research review in this week’s Lancet says that high hospital admission rates combined with bed reductions mean nearly three quarters (71%) of health trusts have exceeded the government’s bed occupancy target of 82%.

Report author Dr Archie Clements, from Queensland University’s School of Population Health, said: ‘Overcrowding and understaffing have had a negative effect on patient safety and quality of care, evidenced by the flourishing of healthcare-acquired infections in many countries.’

He called for a study into the effects of overcrowding on MRSA infection and for trusts to develop strategies on how to best use their available resources to combat the problem.


Lancet (2008) 8: 427-434

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Readers' comments (2)

  • I am not sure if there is enough evidence in this. I come from Africa where overcrowding in hospitals ect and MRSA is not a well spread infection as it is in England. I think it all bows down to hygiene & cleanliness. Hospitals needs thorough cleaning, which over a few years has deteriorated, maybe due to super cleaners now retrired!!!!, Food for thought!!

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  • It has nothing to do with hospitals being overcrowded, it is just a simple fact they are not cleaned very often. I spent 10 days as an inpatient, the ward i was in was only cleaned once in that time and not very well at that. Before the cleaner washed the floor there was blood by the side of my bed and it was still there when he had finished. Tell me how a ward can be clean if it is only done once a week!

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