Patient safety

15.03.19

Grandmother dies at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in latest fungal infection death case

Prosecutors are investigating a third death at Glasgow’s flagship hospital after a grandmother contracted a fungal infection, the latest infection-control incident to hit the city’s hospitals.

Mito Kaur, aged 63, was one of two patients who contracted a fungal infection, Mucor, at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QUEH), and she passed away on Thursday.

She becomes the fifth person to have died in Glasgow as a result of a hospital infection since December, with a report on the £842m super-hospital commissioned by the health secretary released earlier this week.

The report raised concerns over the levels of cleanliness, with dirty vents and a 300-long list of uncompleted repair jobs, and the hospital’s bosses were criticised for failing to act over concerns raised by staff.

Kaur was admitted to hospital in January after flu had developed into pneumonia before she picked up the fungal infection, which was said to have caused her brain to swell and her heart to inflame.

She passed away on Thursday morning, a day before her 64th birthday, and the Crown Office confirmed it was aware of the death and had instructed Police Scotland to carry out inquiries.

Aamer Anwar, the lawyer representing Ms Kaur’s family, is calling for a full independent investigation to take place.

He said: “For the last two months the family have had serious concerns about what had happened to their mother, with many questions that remain unanswered.”

The first major case involved the deaths of a 10-year-old boy and 73-year-old woman who had contracted a fungal infection linked to pigeon droppings, with both cases also being investigated by the Crown Office.

Later in January an investigation was launched by the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Trust after an outbreak of a different blood stream infection in the neo-natal unit at the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital, leading to the deaths of two premature babies.

Jeane Freeman announced that she had commissioned a review into the QUEH, and following its publication last week the trust’s chief executive Jane Grant welcomed the recommendations and said an action plan was being implemented “as a priority.”

Shadow secretary Mike Briggs said the report made for “grim reading” with blood on trolleys, cleaner shortages, and more than 300 outstanding repairs, and he urged SNP ministers to ensure these issues were addressed.

Image credit -  Jane Barlow/PA Wire/PA Images

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