Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Legionnaires' Outbreak at Croxton Hospital

An outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at Croxford Hospital has infected up to four people and a newborn baby earlier today.

Three patients, two of which recently gave birth and another midwife are all being treated and are “responding” to treatment to the disease which was confirmed at 7pm yesterday evening.

The grandmother of the newborn baby, Lilly Harborne, 59, said: “My daughter Debbie had a little boy on Friday, but was sent home last night after her baby became ill.

“They’ve kept the baby in hospital for treatment and we’re not allowed to visit at the moment. We are all absolutely distraught”.

Up to 250 patients and medical staff will be transferred to nearby hospitals as a precaution against the disease, which is thought to have originated in the air conditioning on the maternity ward Daneway, which has now been shut down.

All outpatient clinics have been suspended and patients requiring any emergency treatment are being urged to dial 999 as a precaution due to it being “possible that more cases will be discovered” the hospital says. Patients requiring routine procedures should contact their GP’s.

The early symptoms of the potentially fatal condition involves general aches, headaches and a dry cough, which ultimately turn into confusion, a temperature of up to 40 degrees and even organ failure.

Treated with antibiotics, the respiratory disease multiplies in water or air conditioning units, but person to person transmission is virtually unheard of.

Croxford Hospital said: “We have a team of scientists from the hospital and departments of Blowhampton University working on this”.

The hospital has set up a special hotline for any queries from relatives and patients. The number is 01372 400 400.

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chris_sayer said...

As the reporter for this story, the information I would like to gather next is:

•Interviews with the families of the other infected victims
•Any doctors from the hospital
•An expert opinion on the disease and why it could have entered the hospital
•The mother of the baby being treated

I would like to ask the mother and families of the infected:

•Do they feel let down by the hospital for letting this occur?
•Have you had any contact with your loved ones?
•Do you feel that the hospital is doing all it can to aid the infected?
•Has this changed your opinion on hospital set ups at all?

I would ask the expert:

•How often does this disease enter hospitals?
•How easy is it for it to happen?
•Is the hospital to blame for the infection?
•Is there any long term damage that the disease causes?
•What is the next step for the hospital and for the families?

Anne said...

You have written this in news format, kept your paragraphs short and punchy and included most of the key elements of this story.

Be careful about accuracy though – reread your intro and think about what you have said. Were the people infected earlier today? What about the hospital closure?

Look at your wording too – ‘which’ should be ‘whom’ in par 2 and who is the other midwife?

Watch punctuation around quotes and try to quote in full sentences wherever possible. Also look at your misuse of possessive apostrophe.