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OSMH monitoring C-Difficile in hospital

5/15/2009 12:00:00 AM

(Friday, May 15, 2009 - Orillia, ON)  – Despite a decrease in the number of new C-Difficile cases over the past four weeks, Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH) and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU), continue to monitor the situation after the hospital went through a 3-month period earlier this year with 5 or more new cases reported each month.


OSMH reported 6 new cases in February, 5 in March and 7 in April.  


“While the goal is always zero, May is trending much better with only one new case reported midway through this month,” according to Cindi Wigston, OSMH Infection Prevention and Control Coordinator. “We have been monitoring the numbers all along and stepping up our cleaning and hygiene efforts accordingly”. 


No visiting restrictions have been put in place at OSMH but everyone is being strongly encouraged to practice good hand hygiene throughout the hospital, which includes washing hands with soap and water, or alcohol based rubbing solutions located throughout the facility.  


For more information about C-Difficile, read the Fact Sheet below. 





What is Clostridium difficile (C. difficile or C.diff)?

C. difficile is just one of the many types of bacteria that can be found in the environment and the bowel. C-difficile is the most common cause of infectious diarrhea in hospitals and long-term care homes. It has been a known cause of healthcare-associated diarrhea for about 30 years.


For most people, C. difficile does not pose a health risk. When C. difficile bacteria grows in the bowel, it produces toxins. These toxins can damage the bowel and cause diarrhea, causing a disease known as Clostridium difficile associated Disease (CDAD). The effects of CDAD are usually mild but sometimes can be more severe. Symptoms can range from mild or severe diarrhea to high fever, abdominal cramping, abdominal pain and dehydration. In severe cases, surgery may be needed, and in extreme cases CDAD may cause death.


What causes Clostridium difficile Associated Disease (CDAD)?

C. difficile associated disease (CDAD) can sometimes occur when antibiotics are prescribed. Antibiotics work by killing off bacteria – the bad bacteria – but also good bacteria. Without the presence of the typical “good” bowel bacteria, the C. difficile bacteria may start to grow and produce toxins that can cause CDAD.


How Does CDAD Spread?

When a person has CDAD, the bacteria in the stool can contaminate surfaces such as toilets, handles, bedpans, or commode chairs. When touching these items our hands can become contaminated. If we then touch our mouth without washing our hands, we can become infected. Our soiled hands can also spread the bacteria to other surfaces. By always washing your hands and practicing good hygiene, you can greatly reduce your chances of picking up any bacteria – not just C.difficile.


What happens if I get CDAD while I’m a patient in the hospital?

You will be put on special precautions until you are free from diarrhea for at least two days. (All patients with diarrhea, not only those with C.difficile, should be put on these special precautions). Your activities outside the room may be restricted. All health care staff who enter your room must wear a gown and gloves. Everyone must clean their hands when leaving your room.


Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH) is a 230-bed hospital located in Orillia, Ontario (just 114 kilometres north of Toronto) that serves more than 440,000 residents in North Simcoe Muskoka. OSMH provides a comprehensive range of programs and services, including medical, surgical and emergency care, dialysis, obstetrical and paediatric care, oncology, complex continuing care, mental health and rehabilitation services. While it remains Orillia’s community hospital, OSMH has a new role as a regional healthcare centre. For more information please visit our website at www.osmh.on.ca.




For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:


Terry Dyni, Director, Community Relations

T: (705) 327-9179

E: tadyni@osmh.on.ca

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