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Operations cancelled after hospital bacteria infection

Pseudomonas aeruginosa was detected in a ward at Edinburgh's Western General Hospital.

Western: Some surgery procedures have been cancelled.
Western: Some surgery procedures have been cancelled. Geograph by M J Richardson

Patients have been struck down with a bacterial infection, forcing operations at a hospital to be cancelled.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa was detected in a ward in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at Edinburgh's Western General Hospital.

Some non-emergency surgery procedures on Tuesday have been cancelled.

The bacteria has been identified in a shower and in some taps in an area of the neurosciences ward but it's not yet known where exactly the patients picked up the infection.

The health board is investigating what has caused the infection and have said the cases are not linked.

Professor Alex McMahon, director of nursing at NHS Lothian, said: "A very small number of patients in a ward in the Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, have been identified with an infection caused by the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginos.

"The cases, which are not linked, continue to be treated and the patients are being monitored very closely.

"A multidisciplinary Incident Management Team (IMT) has been established and tests are ongoing.

"The bacteria has been identified in a shower and some taps in one area of a ward in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences.

"This bacteria is common and rarely affects healthy individuals, but can be harmful to a small number of patients who are very vulnerable to infection.

"All necessary infection control measures are being carried out in the ward and, as a precaution, also in an adjacent area, to ensure patient safety is maintained.

"Unfortunately this has resulted in elective procedures in the department being postponed on Monday and Tuesday.

"We are sincerely sorry for the inconvenience and disappointment this inevitably causes our patients and their families however, above all else, we must prioritise the safety of our patients."

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