Major Dublin hospital hit with outbreak of potentially lethal superbug
A major Dublin hospital has been hit with an outbreak of a potentially lethal superbug, forcing the closure of two wards since last month.
A number of adult patients in Tallaght Hospital were found to be have CRE infection, which is resistant to many antibiotics.
The outbreak was first confirmed in August, closing the Gogarty and Crampton wards, the Irish Independent has learned.
A third ward may now also have to be closed. It is undergoing contact screening as part of the urgent drive by the hospital to contain the spread. The closure of the wards has led to an escalation in overcrowding and left 27 patients on trolleys waiting for a bed yesterday.
CRE - which stands for carbapenem resistant enterobacteria - is generally not a risk to healthy people but poses a serious danger to patients whose immune systems are low.
Patients who are using catheters and ventilators or are taking antibiotics are the highest risk of becoming infected. It is passed on by touch. There are only a few antibiotics which can kill off the infection.
A spokeswoman for the hospital said it was taking all appropriate precautions.
The paediatric emergency department and adult emergency department are separate units and neither have been associated with this outbreak.
Patients should continue to use both emergency units as normal, she added.