Friday, August 29, 2008
Class Action Sought Over C. Difficile Cases
From The Gazette:
Relatives of patients who either were infected or died from C. difficile diarrhea during an outbreak at a St. Hyacinthe hospital in 2006 have launched a class
action against the local health authority for up to $10 million in damages.
The outbreak at Honoré Mercier Hospital was one of the worst in the province, killing 16 people. In total, 70 patients contracted a virulent strain of Clostridium difficile while being treated in the hospital.
"We want to send a strong message that infection control must be maintained as a priority by hospitals, administrators and staff," medical malpractice lawyer Jean-Pierre Ménard told a news conference yesterday.
"It's not enough for public-health officials to say that it was a virulent strain."
Ménard added the Honoré Mercier outbreak is especially tragic because Quebec had already dealt with a C. difficile epidemic in 2004-2005, yet the Montérégie community hospital did not appear to have drawn any lessons from the earlier outbreaks.
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