County Limerick man with ‘superbug’ dies

Donal O’Regan

Reporter:

Donal O’Regan

A COUNTY Limerick man who contracted the hospital superbug KPC while in the care of the Mid-Western Regional hospital has died.

A COUNTY Limerick man who contracted the hospital superbug KPC while in the care of the Mid-Western Regional hospital has died.

KPC stands for Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase and is resistant to penicillin and other commonly used antibiotics. It can prove fatal for people with underlying medical conditions. This is the first time there has been an outbreak of KPC in an Irish hospital.

A spokesperson for the HSE said the hospital has received queries as to the connection between KPC and the death of a patient recently.

“KPC has not been identified to be the cause of death in any patient at the Mid Western Regional Hospital to date. It must be remembered that all patients, those with KPC colonised and those infected, are in the hospital for other reasons. Some have more complicated underlying conditions than others,” said the HSE spokesperson.

The family of the deceased man did not wish to speak to the Limerick Leader when contacted.

However, it is understood from a person who is from the same locality that contacted the Leader that the man was in the Regional Hospital for three months.

“He wasn’t a well man for a while. He was admitted in December. It is very sad for his family as he was a lovely man,” said the person, who didn’t wish to be named.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the HSE said KPC has been found to be colonised in nine patients “all of whom were identified through an intensive process in the hospital following the identification of the first patient.”

“KPC can be colonised - found in the bowel - but the person may not have an active infection as a result of this. In the nine patients, three were found to have infection and the remainder were not affected other than requiring testing and isolation as an overall precautionary and control mechanism. There are currently five of the nine patients remaining in the hospital,” said the spokesperson.

A deep clean of the Regional Hospital has been completed.