Thursday, July 7, 2011

NHS was "not aware" of C. diff cleaning product until now... seriously?

The St.Catharines Standard reported in "NHS steps up cleaning to fight C. diff" (July 6, 2011):

"Every facility run by the Niagara Health System will be cleansed "from top to bottom" with a powerful agent designed to kill C. difficile spores, officials said Tuesday.
Health system CEO Sue Matthews said a Virox "rescue gel" will be used in all hospitals. Patients will be temporarily moved out of their rooms and everything inside from wheelchairs to walls will be cleaned with the agent, in a bid to eliminate the potential spread of the bacteria that caused outbreaks in hospitals in St. Catharines, Niagara Falls and Welland.
"We are still in the early phases of planning this," she said during a news briefing in Welland. "But we have already started in three sites, because we did not want to wait. Those sites are Niagara Falls, Welland and the St. Catharines site."
Matthews said the NHS uses Virox cleaning products regularly, including during outbreaks. Using the rescue gel for a one-time, system-wide cleanse was a recommendation made by a team of inspectors from Public Health Ontario who visited the St. Catharines General Hospital last week.
"This is a product we were not aware of before the team came down," Matthews said. "This is one of the reasons we invited them."
C. difficile has two forms, explained NHS interim chief of staff Dr. Joanna Hope. One, an active form dubbed "vegetative" that makes people sick, is easily killed by using alcohol-based hand-washing substances installed in hospitals.
In its other form, the C. difficile bacteria is protected in a spore that allows it to survive in otherwise hostile environments. The bacteria can lay dormant in the human digestive system until antibiotics used to treat another condition kill so-called "good bacteria" that keep the C. difficile in check.
Once they are gone, the C. difficile leaves the spore and can make a patient very ill.
Hope said the spores can also survive outside a host on furniture and other areas and can be spread on the hands of people. The use of the Virox gel is an attempt to kill any spores that might be lurking in the hospitals.
The NHS declared an outbreak May 28 at the St. Catharines General, and then at the Niagara Falls and Welland hospitals in late June.
Since then, 17 C. difficile patients have died across all three hospitals, 16 of whom acquired the infection in a hospital. The other is said to have acquired it outside the hospital. Eleven of those deaths occurred at the St. Catharines hospital.
Hope is conducting a review of all the deaths to determine what role C. difficile played. She said meetings with families have to be completed before the results of her review can be released publicly. She expects those meetings to be completed by the end of this week.
In St. Catharines, 20 patients remain in hospital isolation. Twelve of them acquired the infection in hospital and eight got it elsewhere.
During the news briefing, Matthews noted a handful of new infection control measures, including dedicating a staff member to monitoring the use of antibiotics in the hospital and having an infection control specialist from St. Joseph's in Hamilton hospital on call.
Matthews said NHS staff will not attend a planned protest led by Niagara Falls politicians outside the GNGH Wednesday because they will be otherwise occupied dealing with the outbreaks. She asked that those attending the protests respect the feelings of people coming and going from the hospital, as they may be visiting someone stricken with C. difficile"
Firstly, isn't it interesting that it only took what -16 confirmed deaths in about a two month period - for the NHS to get into the early phases of planning this clean up?????!
Only now is this happening?!
And secondly: the NHS was not aware of this rescue-gel before?!
Why isn't any Liberal responding to these revelations?
Where was the McGuinty-created LHIN in all this, for the last two months?!
Why wasn't the LHIN - which oversees the NHS - aware of this specialty gel at the very beginning ?
Why is no one asking the Liberal-created LHIN for explanations as to why their oversight failed??
Isn't the St.Catharines Standard right now calling Jim Bradley's office, or sending one of their crack reporters ( Fraser or Lafleche... hahaha...) to track Ole Jimmy down and ask the Savant of Secord Dr. to explain why the health-monopoly in Bradley's own city is seemingly unprepared for a C. diff outbreak?
Will the St. Catharines Standard ask Jim Bradley to explain:
- why McGuinty's secretive Liberals hid from scrutiny and refused to call a public inquiry after hundreds of Ontarians were killed in the last Ontario C. diff outbreak, in 2008?
- whether the calling of such an investigation back in 2008 could have resulted in proactive measures which would have ensured that Ontario's hospitals were properly prepared to quickly detect and contain future C. diff outbreaks; and which would have ensured that all hospitals would have been informed and aware of the availability of specialty cleaners, preventing some of the deaths we've seen in Niagara?
Sure: someone from the St. Catharines Standard's JimmyBoyFanClub could be asking Jimmy about the culpability of Bradley's lying monopolist Liberals in this C. difficile outbreak. (fat chance, though...)
Or maybe a criminal court judge should be the one asking Jim Bradley, George Smitherman and the rest of Dalton McGuinty's Liberal single-payer health-care cutting monopolists about all that.

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