SYDNEY, NS - Cape Breton Progressive Conservative MLAs will meet with District Health Authority CEO John Malcolm on Monday regarding the newest outbreak of C.difficile in the Cape Breton Regional Hospital.
"We want to hear from Mr. Malcolm if there is more that can be done to put an end to this persistent and serious matter," said Cape Breton North MLA Eddie Orrell. “It’s a very unfortunate situation when ‘exposure to the healthcare system’ is considered a risk factor for a deadly infection, as the Public Health Agency’s report states.”
A report from the Public Health Agency of Canada about last year’s outbreak indicates that the government is designing guidelines on the response to C.difficile. Orrell wonders if the new guidelines are in place to deal with this current outbreak that began last month.
Other recommendations by the epidemiologists include ongoing audits and vigilance at other hospital sites, better sharing of lab results, minimizing patient transfers between hospitals and procedures to count cases in timely way.
The Department of Health also released a report last month that indicated, at times, Infection Control Practitioners appeared to lack legitimate authority to implement certain processes sooner that may have mitigated additional transmission i.e. cohorting, patient transfers, waste management, meal deliveries, selection of sporicidal disinfectant.
"The reports raise some questions about the government’s preparedness and protocols," said Cape Breton West MLA Alfie MacLeod. "Procedures surrounding sterilization practices are key to stopping the spread of C.difficile in close quarters, like hospitals."
"Lessons have been learned from previous outbreaks, including recently in Quebec," said Victoria-The Lakes MLA Keith Bain. “While upgrades are being made to the building, it is important that other contamination issues are addressed.”