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C. diff outbreak kills one and infects 14 more

June 24, 2009
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VICTORIA, BC, Canada — The Saanich Peninsula Hospital is struggling to contain a deadly outbreak of Clostridium difficile (C. diff) that has killed one and infected 14 others, according to the Globe and Mail.
According to the story, poor hygiene from overcrowding and understaffing is blamed for the outbreak.
The most effective cleaning solution to combat C. diff is a simple mix of bleach and water to clean surfaces, on top of proper hand-washing, the story stated.
The issue of hospital cleaning has raised many eyebrows since British Columbia privatized housekeeping services in 2003; to address concerns, an independent cleaning auditor has been brought in to ensure British Columbia hospitals are maintaining adequate standards, the story noted.
Westech Systems Ltd., which conducted a housekeeping audit of Vancouver Island Health Authority hospitals last year, claims the audits will detect dirt, but they are not designed to examine whether equipment is properly sterilized.
A similar outbreak last summer at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, in which five people died, credited insufficient bleach dilution ratios for the inadequate cleaning, the story added.
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