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Update on Cryptococcus at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

You may already be aware that we are investigating two isolated cases of a rare fungal infection - Cryptococcus - at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

This fungus is linked to pigeon droppings and while it is harmless to healthy humans it can pose a risk to the health of very sick people with extremely low immunity. 

We want to inform you of developments today and of our continued commitment to patient safety and public confidence in the hospital. 

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport visited the hospital today to speak to staff, management and patients and families about the issue and she has been reassured that patient safety is our top priority. 

She has also agreed that an external advisor will work with us on a review of the fabric of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital to include a review of the design, commissioning, and maintenance programme. 

The Cabinet Secretary updated the Scottish Parliament on these issues this afternoon when she stated that, “I am confident the Board have taken all the steps they should to maintain patient safety”. 

She also informed Parliament of a separate issue involving two patients who have tested positive with another fungal organism, one of whom is being treated for infection. The other does not require treatment. The likely source has been identified and repaired but other investigations continue. 

It is important to recognise that the staff at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital provide excellent care to many thousands of patients admitted every year and that the hospital has very good clinical outcomes.

ENDS

For further media information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected] 

 

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