March 30, 2010
NANAIMO – The Vancouver Island Health Authority’s Infection Prevention and Control Program is reporting higher numbers of Clostridium Difficile (C. difficile) cases at NRGH, prompting the declaration of an outbreak at the hospital.
“The declaration of an outbreak allows us to make certain that there is a heightened awareness and vigilance at the hospital among staff, physicians, patients and visitors,” said Dr. Richard Stanwick, VIHA’s Chief Medical Health Officer. “C. difficile in hospitals is not new and not unique to VIHA and the organism is a persistent challenge in care settings throughout the industrialized world,” adds Stanwick.
Over the past week, NRGH saw 6 new cases of C. difficile, compared to 8 cases for the previous two periods (Period 11 January 8th – February 4th & Period 12 February 5th – March 4th). Currently 9 patients in NRGH have confirmed C. difficile. Based on traditional patterns, it is expected that an average of 5 patients at any one time may have C. difficile at NRGH.
“We always take outbreak situations seriously and we are monitoring the situation carefully,” said Dr. Martin Wale, Executive Medical Director for Infection Prevention and Control at VIHA. “Enhanced processes have been put in place, including stepped up surveillance and monitoring, increased cleaning and changed cleaning solutions, contact precautions for care providers and placing patients with C. difficile in single rooms to prevent transmission."
Two reports were commissioned in 2008/09 which made recommendations on how to better detect and respond more effectively to future outbreaks. Many recommendations were implemented during the C. difficile outbreak at Nanaimo Regional Hospital in November 2009 which resulted in a return to normal C. difficile levels within two months.
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