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Dublin: 13 °C Friday 20 July, 2018
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'Questions need to be asked' after outbreak of superbug at Dublin hospital

The CPE superbig was identified in Tallaght Hospital in mid-2015.

The antibiotic resistant superbug can be fatal patients who contract it.
The antibiotic resistant superbug can be fatal patients who contract it.
Image: Kateryna Kon

QUESTIONS ARE BEING asked about a superbug outbreak at a Dublin hospital after it emerged that a cleaning schedule was cut from seven days a week to six.

An outbreak of the Carbapenemase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) superbug at Tallaght Hospital led to the closure of wards and the cancellation of 700 operations.

The CPE superbug is an antibiotic resistant bacteria that can be fatal for about half of the patients who get bloodstream infections.

The Irish Times reported this morning that the outbreak occurred after a decision was taken to reduce the cleaning schedule after cuts were made to the cleaning budget.

The superbug was first identified in 2015 and forced the hospital to increase its clean budget and continuously test patients.

In response, Fianna Fáil’s health spokesperson Billy Kelleher has said that questions need to be answered about who knew about the decision to cut the cleaning budget.

“We’ve learned that a decision was taken by management in the hospital to reduce the cleaning budget and reduce cleaning services from a seven to six day cycle,” he said.

This has had major implications for standards in the hospital, and is likely to have contributed to the outbreak of the Carbapenemase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) superbug in the hospital.

It’s been estimated that it will cost up to €6 million to rid the hospital of the potentially fatal superbug and Kelleher said that he will be writing to the chair of the Oireachtas Health Committee to request that representatives from the hospital and Hiqa appear to answer questions.

Read: Doctors warn of ‘end of the road for antibiotics’ as drug-resistant superbug found in the US >

Read: Use antibiotics as a ‘quick fix’ for a cold? It won’t work and could be very damaging >

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Rónán Duffy

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