Thursday, December 21, 2006


As I predicted on 19th, it was due to a failure of asepsis -- negligence about cleanliness, in other words

The husband of a nurse who became the first person in Britain to die from a new deadly strain of MRSA contracted in hospital described the heartbreak yesterday of bringing up their newborn baby alone. Maribel Espada died four days after undergoing an emergency Caesarean at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire, where she had worked as a nurse for four years.

Health experts believe that Mrs Espada had previously picked up the Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL)-MRSA bug while working at the hospital. But it got into her bloodstream during the emergency operation last September.

Wen Espada, 30, told The Times that he was devastated at the thought of bringing up their son, Arwen, alone. "This was our first child and the only comfort I have is that Maribel got to see him and spent six days with him before her death. The doctors never mentioned MRSA and they had not mentioned to my wife that there had been an outbreak of MRSA even though she worked at the hospital."

Mr Espada, a warehouse worker, said that Maribel became ill four days after Arwen was delivered on September 20. Doctors told Mr Espada that his wife had died of an infection, and a postmortem examination confirmed PVL-MRSA.

One other patient at the hospital is known to have died there in March from the bacterium and an internal investigation carried out after Mrs Espada's death has identified a further nine cases at the hospital. Mr Espada said that he had instructed a firm of solicitors. "If the hospital has tried to cover this up, they should be made to pay for it," he said. The University Hospital of North Staffordshire refused to comment on Mrs Espada's death.



A wind farm in the Thames Estuary was approved by the Government yesterday despite a warning from the shipping industry that it would significantly increase the risk of massive pollution in the event of a collision. It will be located 12 miles off the coast between Margate in East Kent and Clacton in Essex and consist of 341 turbines spread over 90 square miles, making it the world's largest offshore wind farm.

The Chamber of Shipping said that the decision had been rushed through by the Department of Trade and Industry without proper consideration of the risks to mariners. More than 100 ships a day would pass close to the wind farm. The chamber said that the wind farm would be too close to shipping lanes, leaving little margin for error. It said the turbines would interfere with radar, preventing ships from spotting smaller boats. "With visual and radar detection of vessels impaired, the risk of collision is increased, and should such a collision involve a chemical or oil tanker, the repercussions would be immediate and far-reaching.

"The decision ignores expert advice on the safety of those using the estuary [and] disregards the Maritime and Coastguard Agency's guidance as to the minimum distance which should separate shipping lanes from wind farm sites. It is hard to understand why an environmentally minded project has been pushed forward with little consideration given to its potential to cause an irreversibly damaging environmental disaster."

A spokesman for the DTI said that the approval contained a condition that required more work to be done on navigational safety.


Stupid British "security" again: "The circumstances surrounding the murder of PC Sharon Beshenivsky would be disturbing at the best of times. She was shot by a gang whose members (foreign nationals) had extensive criminal records; they were considered for deportation but were allowed to stay in Britain because their homeland - Somalia - was determined to be too dangerous a place to which to send them back. If no other information about this killing had surfaced, questions would and should have been asked about the balance to be struck between law and order and deportation. Yet, as we report today, matters are worse than they appear. One of those who was wanted for this murder - Mustaf Jama - is believed to have fled Britain in the days after the shooting, disguising himself as a veiled woman. His brother was one of five other men left to be tried and convicted of murder or manslaughter. Jama was able to sneak on to an international flight at Heathrow dressed in a niqab despite extensive publicity about this murder. His photograph had been circulated to every police force, port and airport in the country. Had he been asked to reveal his face he would have been detected in a moment. He is instead now believed to be at liberty in a region of Somalia where his family wields much influence - the very same Somalia that had been too dangerous for these criminals. This shocking affair reveals fundamental lapses in what should surely be considered elementary security measures."

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