C. difficile outbreak at St. Catharines site
The Niagara Health System has declared a C. difficile outbreak at the St. Catharines General Site’s Oncology Medical/Palliative Unit.
Five patients on the unit have confirmed positive for hospital-associated C. difficile in the last two weeks.
Under NHS infection prevention and control protocols, this means the unit is considered to be in outbreak.
Four affected patients remain on the unit, and there have been no deaths associated with the outbreak.
There are no other C. difficile outbreaks at the NHS.
NHS remains in regular contact with infectious disease specialist Dr. Michael Gardam, Director of Infection Prevention and Control for the University Health Network in Toronto and a recognized expert in Canada for infection prevention and control.
Enhanced practices were put into place at all NHS sites in 2011 based on consultation with Dr. Gardam and other experts.
These practices include heightened monitoring for C. difficile, increased housekeeping and nursing resources, increased hand hygiene audits, and an ongoing review of the use of antibiotics, which can be a factor in patients developing C. difficile.
The NHS is asking any visitors at any of the sites to wash their hands regularly and not visit if you are sick.