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article imageC. diff outbreak at Ottawa hospital

By Tim Sandle     Mar 31, 2013 in Health
Ottawa - The Ottawa Hospital has been severely criticized in a report about practices and hygiene. The report was commissioned following a high number of Clostridium difficile cases over a two year period.
The Public Health Ontario expressed concern about the high number of Clostridium difficile cases relating to both the Civic and General campuses at the Ottawa Hospital over a two year period. The basis of the two-year study was triggered by events in Ontario in 2011 when twenty-six patients died from the disease according to CBC.
The report into the hospital, as the Ottawa Sun notes, was released this week. According to the Ottawa Citizen, the report indicates that the spread of infection is due to poor practices: "Problems that encouraged the disease’s spread included cluttered rooms, cluttered nursing carts, improper handwashing stations in some of the units, and a lack of training among cleaning crews."
Clostridium difficile is a bacterium that causes severe diarrhea and other intestinal diseases. It has, for some years, been associated as a hospital acquired infection, where people accidentally ingest spores of the bacteria while they are patients in a hospital. Many hospitals around the world have taken measures to control the bacterium and to reduce infection rates. Some institutions have been able to do this more effectively than others, and one of the most common reasons for the spread of the disease is poor hygiene and ineffective cleaning.
Dr. Virginia Roth of the Ottawa Hospital’s General campus has responded by saying that special cleaning teams have been assembled to improve cleaning throughout the hospital. Quoted by CBC, she said: "They're really rapid response teams that go quickly up to the unit when we see a case. And they make sure we're meeting the highest infection control standards."
She also went on to say that tackling the infection rates will be difficult because "It's a bacteria that's hard to kill and we happen to miss that one little surface, it can be there for the next patient and the next patient that comes."
Meanwhile, a press release from the hospital's newsroom attempted to deflect some of the criticism by stating that other faculties across Canada also had problems: "The Ottawa Hospital is not alone in confronting this challenge. Hospitals and long-term care facilities across the country and around the developed world are struggling to control C. difficile."
The hospital has, however, embarked on official case reporting. The latest incidents can be tracked via a page on the hospital website.
More about c diff, Clostridium difficile, Ottawa, Hospital, Infection
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