THE TIMES OF MALTA, Valletta, 7 September 2006.

Seven operations cancelled due to MRSA microbe

Seven operations due at St Luke's Hospital yesterday were called off after a patient in Fairyland, the children's ward, was diagnosed with antibiotic-resistant MRSA, the hospital said.

The hospital administration said the operations cancelled consisted of circumcision and hernia, adding they were not "urgent" interventions.

"In a similar case last week, six operations had to be cancelled. In this case, each operation has been re-scheduled", the hospital's information officer, Tonio Bonello, said.

MRSA can lead to a number of conditions such as a skin disease known as furunculosis, blood poisoning, suppuration of wounds and inflammation of the bone marrow and patients who contract it are usually kept in isolation to prevent the infection from spreading.

The St Luke's Hospital administration said they were taking all measures to disinfect the children's ward, warning that more operations may have to be cancelled in the coming days.

"Most MRSA patients would not have encountered the microbe from hospital but would have carried the virus when admitted," the hospital said.

(File created 7 September 2006)