Friday, 21 September 2007

Leslie Ash- celebrity bullshitter?

Leslie Ash just can't keep her whinging out of the papers, am I the only one getting rather tired of this has-been trying to cash in on bad science and misinformation? The Daily Mail has been serialising what I can only imagine to be one of the world's worst ever books. According to Leslie:

"After breaking two ribs in a freak accident while making love to my husband, Lee Chapman, I had caught MSSA – a close relation of the hospital superbug MRSA – and woken up unable to move."

Broken ribs are a common thing, they can occur after falls or even after being beaten by ones husband. For some reason Leslie Ash required an epidural for pain relief for these accidentally broken ribs. An epidural is very rarely used under these circumstances, most patients would take some oral painkillers or even some intravenous ones; however an epidural seems a bit strange for broken ribs. Possible reasons for this strange decision may be that the patient was unwilling to put up with any pain at all, thus demanding the epidural.

It is well known that epidurals can very occasionally result in spinal abscesses, at a rate of less than 1 in 50,000 patients. Anyone being treated with an epidural would be warned of the common risks and the rarer serious risks associated the epidural. I can only assume that Mrs Ash was warned of the possible complications. The bacterium involved was MSSA, methicillin sensitive staphylococcus aureus, which is in fact a very common skin commensal that many of us have residing on our skins. This is no super-bug, it is a common organism that causes boils and pimples. Developing an infection such as this would not be linked to the hospital being unclean, it most likely was one of Mrs Ash's residents in the first place:

'Do you mean I'm like this because I picked up an infection in a dirty hospital?' I whispered.

'Well, we don't know yet, but I think it is a strong possibility,' the lawyer replied.

This is just one example of the brain dead misinformed scaremongering that appears to be an ever present in Mrs Ash's tedious book. It is indeed unfortunate that she developed such an incapacitating complication, however the way she has reacted and tried to throw blame around has not made her look like a particularly impressive human being.

It could be argued that she is deliberately trying to profit from misinformed scaremongering and selling products of very dubious benefits, such as her 'Matron' handwash. I fear for us all if Mrs Ash sees herself as a spokesperson on MRSA related issues, as from what I have heard she has a grasp of science equivalent to that of a small insect. The media cannot escape blame either, as they continue to print utter rubbush masquerading as proper science. At a minimum they could at least check that their facts do not contradict wikipedia, would that be too much to ask of the poor luvvies? Moronic celebrities such as Mrs Ash end up doing much more harm than good with their negligent misinformation and scaremongering, it is time that they put a cork in it and the media should stop providing their mouthpiece.


Shiny Happy Person said...

God, I remember when this story broke, and the fat-lipped media whore was one the cover of EVERY magazine a newspaper going on abot havig this terrible 'MSSA' - which is practically the same as MRSA. It did make me laugh.

Mind you, I'm not surprised she wanted to draw attention away from her slightly more legitimate but more embarassing medical mishap...

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