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Update on C-difficile Retrospective Outbreak

June 20, 2008 4:53 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.

The OCT was informed that further rigorous re-checking of patient records has now established that one patient (already identified as one of the 54 cases) had been transferred to the RAH for essential surgical assessment where sadly they subsequently died. C-diff has been confirmed as the patient’s main cause of death. Whilst at the RAH all the appropriate infection control nursing procedures were carried out with regards to the care of this patient.

This takes the total number of patients with C-diff as their main cause of death to nine and a contributory factor in the deaths of a further eight patients.

The OCT was also informed of one other case of C-diff in a patient who has now recovered which dated back to May of this year. This brings the overall number of C-diff cases within the six month period, 1 December and 1 June, to 55.

We have previously reported that three patients are currently receiving treatment for C-diff at the Vale. A fourth patient has unfortunately had a relapse and is also now being treated in isolation at the hospital where their condition is stable. This patent’s relapse does not alter the overall number of cases of C-diff between the months of 1 December and 1 June.

Dr Syed Ahmed, Chair of the OCT, said: “My deepest sympathy goes out to the families of those who have died.

“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 last week.

“NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde will co-operate fully with the Independent Review Team led by Professor Cairns Smith and will at the same time continue our own internal careful scrutiny of 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

Notes to Editor


The Outbreak Control Team will meet again on Wednesday 25th June.

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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