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C. difficile outbreak at Greater Niagara General declared over

Posted Feb 9th, 2012

The Niagara Health System today declared the C. difficile outbreak at the Greater Niagara General Site over.

“We know that this has been a challenging time for our patients, their loved ones, and for staff. We remain committed to working to our fullest capacity each day to maintain a quality and safe patient environment,” says Dr. Sue Matthews, NHS Interim President and CEO. “Although the C. difficile outbreak is over we will continue to be vigilant with our infection prevention and control practices.”

Niagara Health System continues to see a high number of people coming in to the hospital with C. difficile acquired in the community.

NHS is the first hospital in Canada to introduce UV light to combat superbugs. The pilot project launched last week and will continue for three months. “Over the last several months, we’ve made many important infection prevention and control improvements, which have been embedded in to our daily routine,” says Dr. Matthews. “We will also continue to work closely with Dr. Michael Gardam, a recognized expert in Canada for infectious disease, to ensure we are doing everything we possibly can.”

All infection prevention and control protocols will remain in place across all of our sites. These practices include:

  • A new trigger system enables us to quickly respond to suspected C. difficile cases with enhanced cleaning and patient isolation.
  • Cleaning practices related to C. difficile and other hospital-acquired infections have been enhanced. This includes twice daily cleaning of all patient rooms, deep cleaning of specific units, full facility cleans, and enhanced housekeeping audits and checklists.
  • We have extended the use of sporicidal agents across the hospital, vs. use solely in patient bathrooms.
  • Terminal clean – more intensive cleaning – takes place across facilities; units with recurrence are terminally cleaned again.
  • Regular hand hygiene audits of staff and physicians will continue to ensure 100 per cent compliance with best practice. Staff and physicians must clean their hands before and after every contact with a patient and the patient environment, as well as before an aseptic procedure and after body fluid exposure risk.
  • There will be ongoing screening of ER patients, inpatients and outpatients, including those coming to clinics and for tests.
  • We have moved to genetic testing (PCR) for C. difficile; more accurate, detecting more cases.
  • We have stopped the practice of cohorting patients and have created additional private capacity for patients requiring isolation.
  • There are limits on movement of equipment between units.
  • We will continue to cover all equipment that has been cleaned with plastic covering. This will ensure staff use only equipment that has been thoroughly cleaned according to infection prevention and control standards.
  • Food and drink is restricted in patient rooms unless it is for the patients.
  • Antibiotic stewardship enhancements are ongoing across our sites.
  • Enhanced transparency and clear communication approach continues.
  • Clear signage, hand hygiene stations, and overhead voice message concerning outbreaks and the need for hand hygiene.

Niagara Health System