Coroner instructs hospitals to report MRSA deaths

A CORNER has told doctors to report cases where MRSA was a patient’s cause of death.

Dublin City Coroner, Dr Brian Farrell, said his office has decided that cases must be reported to them where a patient dies from MRSA as a result of environmental factors in a hospital, due to cross-infection, or if the death was unexpected or unexplained. He told the Irish Medical Times that many such cases were not being reported to him.

“At present, we are not concerned if a patient dies with MRSA,” said Dr Farrell, “But if a patient dies from MRSA ... then it must be examined further.”

He has also asked doctors not to write MRSA on death certificates without first notifying his office.

MRSA and Families founding member, Margaret Dawson, said she was glad Dr Farrell had taken the first step towards fully recognising that the superbug was killing people.

For far too long, hospital-acquired MRSA has been covered up, she added, because doctors were not obliged to put it on the death certificate.

“Where a patient died from MRSA, more often than not, the death certificate stated that he or she had died from other complications,” she said.

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