Published: 04/03/2004, Volume II4, No. 5895 Page 6

The number of death certificates showing Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus as a cause of death has increased 15-fold in nearly 10 years, a study has revealed.Georgia Duckworth, head of healthcare-associated infection at the Health Protection Agency, said that in 1993, 51 death certificates had mentioned MRSA as 'a direct or underlying cause of death'.By 2002 that figure had increased to 800.

Dr Duckworth added: 'It has always been difficult to establish how many people die directly as a result of an MRSA infection because there is no separate category on routine death certificates.And people who suffer from MRSA are usually very sick already and therefore vulnerable to infection.'

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