Also in June:
25 June 2009
Ward 13 at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary is not currently admitting new patients due to a higher than usual number of cases of Clostridium difficile (C. difficile). Five patients on the ward currently have C. difficile. The clinical condition of these five patients is not giving cause for concern and they are being treated together.
Unfortunately, a sixth patient on Ward 13 has died - C. difficile was not the primary cause, however it was one of a number of secondary factors.
An outbreak control team has been set up as part of the infection control response, and meets on a daily basis. Robust controls are in place, which include good hand hygiene compliance, enhanced cleaning of the wards, and a review of antibiotic prescribing.
The team is made of senior clinical and nursing, managers and staff with expertise in infection control, public health and microbiology.
Alisdair Chisholm, General Manager, Acute Services, said: "We regret any inconvenience caused to patients and their families. Infection control and patient safety is our paramount concern. We are working very hard to control the risk of spread of infection, and have decided to take the short-term step of not admitting new patients to the ward, to allow us to focus on this."
Currently, there is a total of 13 patients on this medical ward. Patients and families have been fully briefed by the ward staff.
Levels of C. difficile fluctuate and older people or those with other acute illnesses are most susceptible. Increased vigilance and screening in hospitals is resulting in more cases being identified.
Patients, relatives and the public are reminded that they should regularly wash their hands with soap and warm water to minimise the risk of catching and spreading this infection.
Updated figures will be issued on a daily basis following the meeting of the outbreak control team.
Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) 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 show symptoms.
NHS Grampian's infection control team consists of eight full time infection control nurses, two surveillance nurses, two antibiotic pharmacists and a prescribing data analyst.