A MAN who went into hospital for a routine operation died after contracting an antibiotic resistant 'superbug.'

An inquest heard that Alan Young, 64, picked up the infection MRSA after an operation to remove a gangrenous toe. He was admitted to Darlington Memorial Hospital at the beginning of June after stubbing his toe at home.

Mr Young, of Killinghall Street, Darlington, appeared to be recovering. But when his niece Gillian O'Hara visited him in hospital almost two weeks later she was told he had to have his right leg amputated below the knee.

The problem was MRSA, a contagious infection only found in hospitals.

Mrs O'Hara said: "I visited him again and they were taking him to theatre because they said there was a trace of the infection in his bloodstream and in his eye.

"The next day they said it had travelled to several sites, but that he was receiving the right course of treatment."

But Mr Young, a bachelor, continued to deteriorate and he died on Tuesday of last week.

Darlington and South West Durham coroner Colin Penna recorded a verdict of misadventure.

Mrs O'Hara said after the inquest she was satisfied the staff gave him the best possible care, but was concerned about how her uncle picked up the infection.

"I'll be writing to the hospital to ask what the procedures are and if anything can be done to improve them so that nothing like this happens again," she said.