Brett Clarkson reported in "C.difficile deaths up to 24; NHS pledges 'new corporate culture'" (Niagara Falls Review, Jul.19, 2011):
"As another patient who had acquired C. difficile died Monday at the St. Catharines General Hospital, local health officials announced that a new infection control manager has been brought in from Hamilton to help the Niagara Health System manage the ongoing outbreaks.Andrea Iacurti, a registered nurse with a certification in infection control based at St. Joseph's Healthcare in Hamilton, started with the NHS on a secondment Monday and will be reviewing NHS practices, cleaning schedules, and sharing strategies until the NHS hires a full-time infection control manager.
"Andrea started today and will report to Kim Stephens-Woods, our vice-president of patient services," said Dr. Sue Matthews, interim president and CEO of the NHS.
The death of the patient in St. Catharines early Monday raises the total number of deaths associated with the outbreak reported by the NHS to 24 since the first outbreak was declared on May 28.
"This patient had multiple health issues and passed away this morning," Matthews said.
The total number of cases reported by the NHS for the three outbreaks in St. Catharines, Welland and Niagara Falls was at 75 on Monday.
So far there has been 13 deaths at the St. Catharines General, six at Welland County General Hospital, and four at Greater Niagara General Hospital in Niagara Falls.
As well, Matthews drew a line in the sand between the NHS' "new corporate culture" and the health system's previous efforts to stonewall a Hamilton media outlet's freedom-of-information request about the 2008 C. difficile outbreak at GNGH.
The request for information sought info about how the 2008 outbreak was dealt with. Twice, the release of that information was blocked by the NHS.
"This approach is inconsistent with our new corporate culture and I have directed those involved to allow the disclosure to proceed," Matthews said. "As I've said previously, I'm committed to adhering to the highest standard of transparency."
Matthews said that the information, which could possibly be released in a matter of days, will likely shine a negative light on the NHS and its infection-control practices three years ago — practices she said have been improved greatly since then.
"I do expect that the content of the FOI request will include statements of concern about our infection control practices in the past," Matthews said. "Though I find this concerning, in the time since the emails and these information were authored, we have made tremendous strides towards the best possible practices."
The NHS' ongoing public relations campaign, which now includes daily media briefings, comes amid criticism from the public and elected officials who accuse the NHS of being less than forthcoming with public disclosure. That criticism evolved to anger and eventually lead to a protest in Niagara Falls on July 6 after word emerged that the four C. difficile-related deaths at GNGH happened between May 12 and June 16 but weren't divulged until an outbreak was declared on June 23.
On Friday the site head of GNGH, Frank Demizio, announced his intention to retire at the end of August, a move that Matthews said had nothing to do with the current controversy enveloping the hospital, which is also battling outbreaks of VRE and MRSA.
As well, former communications chief Christine Clark departed the NHS in early July.
Matthews credited St. Joseph's in Hamilton for helping the NHS manage the outbreak and said Brady Wood, a St. Joseph's public relations director, has also been working with the NHS. So has Dr. Christina Lee, an infection control physician also based at St. Joseph's, Matthews said.
Asked about the safety of the hospitals, Matthews said she understands the public's fear but said that anybody who needs to go to an emergency room or hospital should still go.
As well, Dr. Joanna Hope, NHS interim chief of staff, said the symptoms of C. difficile include diarrhea as well as generalized symptoms including fever, chills, feeling ill, and cramps. However, there can also be serious complications including bloody diarrhea, acute renal failure, also known as kidney failure, and toxic megacolon, a form of colonic distension, which can sometimes require surgery".
Only now - after two dozen dead in Niagara - they're bringing in an infection control manager - and temporarily, at that? Sounds like way too little, way too late, doesn't it?
Why didn't Jim Bradley and Kim Craitor's Liberals fund such a position full-time, since the last Ontario C. diff outbreak?
Didn't Kimmy'n'Jimmy think Niagara's patients deserved full time infection control?! Funny about that, isn't it: Kim'n'Jim's Liberals didn't call a public inquiry into that last killer C. diff outbreak of theirs in 2008, so, Ontarians weren't told whether such a position would be necessary in Niagara's hospitals. Liberals made sure Ontarians weren't told about all the problems ...
So, let's see - what do the Liberals who dictate how Ontario's health-monopoly-prison is run, think??
Hm, funny: there's nothing from Niagara's secretive, health-monopoly pushing scumbag MPP Jim Bradley on what happened during that period in 2008, with all those HUNDREDS of C. diff deaths in Ontario, when Jim Bradley, Kim Craitor, and George Smitherman shut down and refused to call an inquiry into that monopolist-murder. McGuinty's negligent Liberals told us all to wash our hands, and that all was fine; McGuinty's Liberals told us that they knew all there was to know about C. difficile, so therefore, no public inquiry was needed.
As we now see, McGuinty's lying Liberals perpetrated a deathly health-care fraud onto Ontario's patients. We don't know how many lives might have been saved in Niagara in 2011, had we been properly informed through an independent inquiry, as to the correct infection control procedures and protocol in 2008; we were simply browbeaten and bullshitted by McGuinty and Smitherman's Liberals to 'trust them' that 'all was gonna be OK'. McGuinty's Gritty corporate-political-fascist culture is one of Liberal healthcare duplicity.
Funny how NOW, these two outbreaks are being linked: read the red portion of the story above: an ombudsman's or other independent inquiry in 2008 (which McGuinty's Liberals refused to allow) would have certainly uncovered the reasons behind the McGuinty-Smitherman-Craitor-Bradley Liberal government's C. difficile cover-up. We see that in 2008 McGuinty's Liberal scumbags tried - successfully - to keep the NHS's information hidden, in the same way they tried to keep their entire province-wide C. diff disaster covered-up.
Since the NHS does not make policy, is not independent, and does not raise its own funding, and is entirely a creature of the Ontario government (as is the NHS's overseer, the Liberal-created LHIN) we therefore require a criminal investigation into what specific directions McGuinty and his Liberal ministers gave the NHS, since 2003, and what the repercussions were, in terms of preventable C. difficile patient deaths. The NHS's 'transparency' or lack thereof was directly related to what it was told to do by the Liberal government which controlled and funded them!! Where, for example, is the subpoena for ALL of George Smitherman's five-year's-worth of correspondence with the NHS, including all of his ministerial discussions and directives??
Two dozen dead C. diff patients in Niagara (so far...) and Jim The Pathetic Liberal Scumbag Monopolist Bradley hides from view. Why isn't secretive Jimmy calling for more transparency?!!!
This FLICKING Liberal gang of single-payer health-care monopolists should be in jail. Corrections Minister Jim Bradley could wear a GPS on his ankle when he's let out on parole in twenty years.