Doctors are investigating 15 deaths which are being linked to a surge in superbug cases at a Greater Manchester hospital.
The M.E.N. has learnt the superbug Clostridium difficile (C diff) is listed as a cause of death for four patients who have died at the top-rated Salford Royal Hospital since March.
All 15 patients had the bug and hospital bosses said it is ‘possible’ although ‘unlikely’ the other 11 people died from it. Tests are still being carried out and the bosses also said the four people who died from the bug already had it when they were admitted.
There have been 82 cases of the diarrhoea bug diagnosed at the hospital, known as Hope, in the last two and a half months. Hospital bosses believe 41 cases were picked up in the community and 41 were definitely caught on the wards.
Bosses at the hospital are now working with the Health Protection Agency and community health providers to examine each death and try to understand the increase in cases.
Chief nurse Elaine Inglesby said: “It is always sad when a patient loses their life and we offer condolences to their families; however all four of these patients were admitted to Salford Royal already having C diff.” One elderly care ward at the hospital has been closed for the last week because of norovirus and C diff. It is expected to reopen after deep cleaning later this week.
The hospital also had to close nine wards because of norovirus during April.