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Two patients fighting C. difficile die in C.B. | The Chronicle Herald

Two patients fighting C. difficile die in C.B. | The Chronicle Herald

When one entity (government) is the same entity that funds, regulates, and overseas hospitals, there exists a possibility for a conflict of interest, which can lead to needless deaths.

Two patients fighting C. difficile die in C.B. | The Chronicle Herald.

Two patients fighting C. difficile die in C.B.

January 6, 2012 – 9:09pm By SELENA ROSS

Two patients at a Cape Breton hospital that is fighting an outbreak of Clostridium difficile have died.

Though both patients tested positive for the bacteria, neither is thought to have died from the outbreak, said Cape Breton Health Authority spokesman Greg Boone.

One died of a C.difficile infection acquired outside the Cape Breton Regional Hospital while the other, who picked up the bacteria at the hospital, died of other causes, he said.

Nine other patients at the hospital are ill with hospital-acquired C.difficile.

The outbreak is expected to last several more weeks at least, Boone said.

“We’re holding our own,” he said.

“What we know from the previous outbreak is that we will see that a number of inpatient cases could rise and fall over periods of time, and that’s not uncommon.”

Two units at the Sydney hospital, each with three! infected patients, are !following strict visitor and staff protocols meant to limit the potential spread of the bacteria.

Children may not visit and only one family member is allowed to see each patient at a time, after donning gloves and gowns, said the hospital in a release.

The three other infected patients are scattered between two or three other units that aren’t limiting visits in the same way, said Boone.

The hospital has taken a close look at what lapses allowed a second outbreak of C.difficile to occur within a year, he said.

Experts were recently brought in from Infection Prevention Control and Prevention Nova Scotia and other health authorities.

One of their findings was that bedpans and commodes were sometimes emptied improperly into toilets in the bathrooms of shared patient rooms, Boone said.

“They should be emptied in … a soiled linen room or whatever, where there is a hopper (steel disposal unit) and a drain designed for emptying that type of waste,” he said.

The hospital is asking everyone in the hospital, including patients and visitors, to be extra vigilant.

“It’s a team effort,” said Boone. “We ask for their help because we can’t do this alone as an organization.”

(sross@herald.ca)

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