Thursday, September 11, 2008

New C. Difficile Cases At Quebec Hospital

From CBC:

Five new cases of C. difficile infection have been reported at a Quebec hospital where an outbreak killed 16 people two years ago.

Officials at the Honoré-Mercier Hospital in Saint-Hyacinthe, about 60 kilometres east of Montreal, confirmed they have five patients infected with Clostridium difficile, and a sixth is under observation.

The situation is under control, and the infections aren't expected to spread, said Claude Dallaire, a spokesman at the hospital.

Infected patients are in isolation, and standard measures to contain the strain are in place, he said.

C. difficile is a common bacterial infection found in hospitals and long-term care facilities that causes diarrhea and other serious intestinal conditions.

The 2006 C. difficile outbreak at Honoré-Mercier was among the worst in Quebec's history.

A virulent strain of the bacterium infected 70 patients, killing 16 people, mostly elderly patients.

A coroner's report blamed hospital administration for cutting corners on sanitation. New managers have since been brought into the hospital.

A $10 million class action lawsuit launched by relatives of patients who were infected or died is pending in the Quebec court system.

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