Current News > September 22nd, 2008: Kemptville District Hospital on guard against C. Difficile
Kemptville District Hospital
2675 Concession Road, Kemptville, ON K0G 1J0
Tel: (613) 258-6133 Fax: (613) 258-7853
September 22, 2008
Media Release - September 22, 2008
Kemptville, ON, July 8, 2008 - Infections acquired while in hospital are a growing threat to patient safety, but Kemptville District Hospital is meeting the challenge to combat them.
C. difficile is a common type of bacteria known for outbreaks of infectious diarrhea in hospitals. Strong antibiotics administered to patients sometimes kill off not only 'bad' bacteria but 'good' bacteria as well. This may cause C. difficile to multiply, leading to diarrhea, bowel damage and in extreme cases even death.
Catherine Van Vliet, Director of Patient Services and Integration at Kemptville District Hospital, put C. Difficile in the context of patient safety. "It's one of our challenges in a modern, complex hospital environment. The doctors and staff here are doing incredible things to restore people's health, but it's not without risk. All staff, including our infection-control team, are working hard to ensure the safety of our patients and visitors."
A renewed focus on patient safety led recently to mandatory reporting of C. dificile infection rates among Ontario hospitals. Very soon, Ontarians will be able to view infection rates on the Ministry of Health and Ontario hospital web-sites. Kemptville District Hospital is exempt from reporting specific patient numbers of infections at present, because infection rates fell below the minimum level of 10 for reporting. "Patient confidentiality is very important, especially in smaller communities. We're also a small hospital with only a few inpatients and Long-Term Care residents at a given time. If we report that one or two people were infected last month, it would be easy for others to 'connect the dots' and compromise the privacy of others."
In the last 5 years, KDH has had one C. difficile outbreak which was stopped in its tracks. By enhancing environmental cleaning, isolating patients with diarrhea, ensuring timely test results and medical treatment, no further spread of C. difficile occurred. "Being proactive is the name of the game - this includes staff, patient and community education, infection control surveillance, routine and enhanced environmental cleaning, and appropriate infection control interventions" said Van Vliet.
Verle Lowther, Infection Control Practitioner at Kemptville District Hospital, summed up the anti-infection measures in place at the Hospital: "Clean your hands, clean your hands, clean your hands. It's the most effective way to stop the spread of infection." Lowther points to hand-sanitizing stations at every entrance and outside each patient and resident
room. "It is important to clean your hands when entering the hospital and each and every time before contact with a patient or resident or their environment." Besides educating staff and visitors, Lowther analyzes visitor traffic patterns and work processes involving the hospital's many rooms and corridors. This helps uncover potential infection risk points so they can be prevented proactively.
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For more information, please contact:
Catherine Van Vliet
Director, Patient Patient Services and Integration
Tel: 613-258-6133 x 181