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Science
CASE NOTES
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Tuesday 21:00-21:30
Repeat Wednesday 16:30
Dr Mark Porter gives listeners the low-down on what the medical profession does and doesn't know. Each week an expert in the studio tackles a particular topic and there are reports from around the UK on the health of the nation - and the NHS.
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LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 5 February
PRESENTER
DR MARK PORTER
Dr Mark Porter
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Tuesday 5 February 2008
Signs showing a hospital ward is closed for deep cleaning
Signs outside a ward at the Leicester Royal Infirmary which is closed for deep cleaning

Full programme transcript >>

Superbugs

Outbreaks of hospital superbugs, like MRSA and Clostridium Difficile, are rarely out of the news. But how exactly can hospitals prevent these infections and what can patients and visitors do to help?

In this week's Case Notes, Mark Porter visits the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. Just over a year ago, dozens of patients died after catching the superbug Clostridium Difficile in their three hospitals.

Mark talks to Director of Infection Prevention and Control, Dr David Jenkins, about how they have tackled their superbug problem and why their approach is starting to pay off. The Trust has dramatically reduced their rates and is on course to exceed government targets.

Preventing MRSA from entering hospital is a key part of their strategy. All patients attending for a routine operation are swabbed for MRSA before admission and those found to carry MRSA harmlessly in their nose (about one percent of the population) are ‘decolonised’ with disinfectant showers and antibiotic nasal cream before admission.

Head of Facilities, Andy Powell, explains how deep cleaning has helped to keep the hospital environment clean. Each ward is emptied, steam cleaned and ‘bombed’ with hydrogen peroxide every year to eliminate any living organisms. But how effective is this at reducing infections on a busy ward?

Lead Infection Control Nurse, Caroline Trevithick, explains how they prevent cross contamination between health workers and patients, and reveals what patients can do to protect themselves and others around them.

Next week: Cystic Fibrosis
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