Croxford Hospital has been forced to close today, due to an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, as four people, including a new born baby are infected.
The outbreak was confirmed by the hospital around 7PM yesterday evening on the Daneway Ward, leaving four patients and a midwife needing treatment at the hospital’s Parkhurst Ward.
The newly born baby, who was born on Friday, became ill over the weekend, prompting the hospital to send his family home on Monday evening.
Lily Harborne, 59, grandmother of the baby said, “They’ve kept the baby in for treatment and we’re not allowed to visit at the moment. We are all absolutely distraught”.
Up to 250 patients in medical and surgical wards are currently being transferred to nearby hospitals in an attempt to contain the disease.
A hospital spokesman said, “It is possible that more cases will be discovered as the incubation for the disease is two to ten days, but we stress that the disease is not communicable from person to person”.
Patients waiting for non-emergency operations have been sent home and have had appointments rescheduled.
Those in need of emergency healthcare have been asked to call 999 and ask for advice regarding their nearest emergency facility.
Legionnaires’ disease cannot be transferred from person to person, however it can be fatal. The disease can potentially cause organ failure if it is not treated.
Early symptoms for the disease include: depression, general aches, headaches and a dry cough.
Abdominal symptoms such as: nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea are also common.
The hospital has set up a special hotline on 01372 400 400 to deal with queries from worried relatives and patients.
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Critque of My Work:
To further this story I would firstly look into whether or not action will be taken against the hospital by its patients or their families.
In addition to this i would also interview other people infected and ask them about their concerns and criticisms of the hospital.
Finally i would investigate how the disease was able to manifest itself in the air conditioning in the first place which could link in with peoples concerns about the hospital.