Outbreaks highlight importance of cleaners
VANCOUVER, BC — Government and health authorities should not be surprised by out-of-control infection rates and the breakdown of infection prevention and control programs at several British Columbia hospitals, according to The Vancouver Sun.
For nearly 10 years, officials have been warned that the cost-cutting practice of contracting out hospital cleaners was putting the health of patients at risk, the article stated.
According to the article, as early as 2004, after investigating instances of women who had contracted stubborn cases of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) after having caesarean sections, Dr. Douglas Cochrane concluded that infection prevention and control had completely broken down in the Fraser Health Authority.
In June 2009 the Vancouver Island Health Authority released damning reports from the BC Centre for Disease Control and from its own chief medical health officer on a persistent and lethal Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infection (CDI) outbreak at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, the third in four years, the article noted.
"There were insufficient numbers of cleaning staff to meet the basic daily needs of the facility and they were not adequately trained in appropriate cleaning procedures for a health care facility. They were not able to meet the increased demand for environmental cleaning that is required to control an outbreak of CDI," the report stated.
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