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Update on C-Diff Retrospective Outbreak

June 16, 2008 5:09 PM

A further meeting of the Outbreak Control Team (OCT) investigating the retrospective outbreak of Clostridium difficile (C-diff) at Vale of Leven has taken place today. At the meeting it was reported that a newly confirmed C-diff patient has sadly died. This patient was seriously ill from an unrelated condition and C-diff was not the main cause of death.
Three patients continue to be treated in isolation for C-diff. All three remain in a stable condition. 
The OCT continues to be focused on the effective control of C-diff at the Vale of Leven and a number of actions have already been taken since the OCT first met six days ago. 
These include:
  • A new antibiotics policy is fully in place. Certain commonly used antibiotics are known to reduce the body’s natural defences against C-diff. As a control measure, use of these antibiotics has now been restricted at the Vale.
  •  The Board’s hand hygiene co-ordinator has been assigned to the Vale. A major campaign to improve compliance with the Board’s strict hand hygiene protocols has begun using TVs located in the hospital.
  • Health Protection Scotland has been invited to carry out an independent review of infection control procedures to ensure they meet national standards.
  • An independent clinical review has begun of all patients diagnosed with C-diff over the past six months. 
  • An extra ward has been opened at the Vale to improve access to hand washing facilities for all patients.
Dr Syed Ahmed, Chair of the OCT, said: “On behalf of the Outbreak Control Team I would like to express my deepest sympathy to the families of those who died. 
“I can give an absolute assurance that we are carefully scrutinising every infection control measure as we investigate why there was a higher than expected incidence of C-diff at the Vale in January, February and May of this year.”  
Ends
 
For further information contact the Press Office on 0141 201 4429.
 
Notes to Editor
The Outbreak Control Team will meet again on Thursday.
 
Clostridium difficile (C-diff) is a bacterium that causes diarrhoea and more serious intestinal conditions such as colitis. It is found in around one in fifty healthy adults, who carry the bug without showing any symptoms. People who have other illnesses or conditions requiring prolonged use of antibiotics and the elderly are more likely to develop symptoms of the infection.

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