Sunday, 31 December 2006
A soldier who was shot in the neck in Afghanistan is recovering after contracting MRSA in a British hospital. Sergeant David 'Paddy' Caldwell, 32, was diagnosed with the superbug on a ward at a Birmingham hospital soon after returning from duty.
The paratrooper was leading 5 Platoon of B Company in an assault on a Taliban compound when he was hit by machine gun fire.
After first being treated at a field hospital in Afghanistan, Sgt Caldwell was then transferred to the intensive care unit at Selly Oak's Royal Centre for Defence Medicine. Most servicemen and women injured overseas are flown to this centre for treatment. This, don’t forget is the hospital where another wounded paratrooper on a civilian ward was abused and threatened by an angry Muslim for “killing my brothers in Afghanistan”. Sources said that Sgt Caldwell had been at the hospital for a number of months before contracting MRSA, but he has since recovered from the infection.
Fellow soldiers from the 3rd Battalion of the British Regiment spoke of their dismay at the incident. One colleague told the News of the World: "The doctors told him his recovery would take two or three years - but that didn't allow for MRSA. The lads are disgusted."
A spokeswoman from the Department of Health (DOH) said reports of MRSA were taken very seriously. "In the new Operating Framework, the Government has put aside £50 million of capital which Trusts can bid for to tackle MRSA.
"This means that £300,000 is available per Trust. This money can be used for improving washing facilities and building better toilets."
But how do you make people use the washing facilities, in particular those Muslims who refuse to clean their hands for religious reason? It is time to be sterner and more proactive to combat all threats to our wellbeing.
Last night consultant Peter Golding—who has backed News of the World demands for soldiers to be treated in dedicated military hospitals—said Sgt Caldwell would not have contracted MRSA in Britain's last military hospital at Haslar in Gosport, Hants, which is facing closure.
"Haslar is one of the cleanest hospitals in the country and has almost zero levels of MRSA," he said. "The trouble with super-hospitals like Selly Oak is that they attract superbugs."
One of Paddy's shocked comrades added: "What happened to him is just not good enough. "The thought that if the Taliban don't get you a hospital in the UK will is enough to make you choke."
Posted on 12/31/2006 9:13 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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