Thursday, November 08, 2007

A Couple of Cold Gusts From The North

We've already seen primary age kids on speed, heroin and methadone.

Now cocaine ?

A police investigation has been launched after a five-year-old boy was rushed to hospital having swallowed a cocktail of illegal Class-A drugs. The boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was taken to Dundee's Ninewells Hospital on Saturday night after he was feared to have eaten cocaine and amphetamines at a property in the city. The drugs had allegedly been lying around in the flat in Dundee where he lives with his parents. He was released from hospital the same night after treatment. A police spokeswoman confirmed a criminal investigation was under way.

In other news, "prescriptions issued in Scotland for anti-depressants have risen more than four-fold in less than 15 years". No word on the number of kids who end up taking them, although a friend who works in a Glasgow practice can tell terrible tales of temazepam.

South of the Border there are also a few health problems. What amazes me about this story is that it doesn't seem to be big news any more. 116 deaths in three years from C. difficile and MRSA. And what about this statement ?

Mr Astley said: "Through monitoring mortality, we have been able to report death rates which other hospitals may not have had available. Our rates are comparable with the national average where C. difficile is known to have a mortality rate of between 6% and 12%. Through keeping a watchful eye on this we can take quick and appropriate action should rates begin to rise, but also learn from what we are doing well to help bring the rates down further."

Is he saying that between 1 in 19 and 1 in 8 NHS inpatients will die of a hospital-contracted infection ? Or does that mortality figure apply to people who get C. difficile ? I hope so.