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Health

Reuters finds superbug deaths going uncounted

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Opening sequence

Health

Reuters finds superbug deaths going uncounted

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COMING UP:Reuters finds superbug deaths going uncounted

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00:00:01
>> This photo shows the first and last time Shala Bouncer was allowed to hold her newborn son. 15 weeks premature Josiah Cooper-Pope was placed in a Newborn Intensive Care Unit at Chippenham Hospital in Richmond, Virginia. He was too tiny to hold. Then at just a week and a half after he was born Josiah's body swelled, and he died.
00:00:24
His mother would eventually learn that her baby had MRSA, a kind of superbug resistant to antibiotics.>> It's not right. It is not right at all. I was devastated. I was devastated, I couldn't eat. I was tired. I couldn't sleep. I hope no one ever has to relive this.
00:00:46
>> It turns out there had been a MRSA outbreak at Chippenham. It would sicken 11 other babies in addition to taking Josiah's life. But there's no mention of MRSA on Josiah's death certificate. His official cause of death was listed as sepsis due to prematurity. Sepsis is a complication of infection, not of prematurity.
00:01:06
A Reuters investigation has found that tens of thousands of superbug related deaths are going uncounted. Some, like Josiah's, go uncounted because the death certificate omits any mention of the infection. Correspondent Deborah Nelson.>> There are many reasons for this. Hospital staff often lack basic training in how to fill out the forms.
00:01:28
Or they don't want to wait for the lab test. Admitting an infection exposes a hospital to a lawsuit, or damage to its reputation. Many times doctors just don't see the importance. When I asked the doctor who filled out Josiah's death certificate why he didn't cite MRSA, he said he thought it didn't matter.
00:01:50
Yet even when the cause of death is properly recorded on the death certificate, it often isn't counted, Reuters found, because the Centers for Disease Control doesn't track superbug deaths and almost half the states don't either.