Friday, 3 April 2009

MRSA returns to P.E.I. hospital nursery

More and more problems at a hospital, in pig country with a history of circovirus problems, that is less than open with the community.

Superbug infection returns to P.E.I. hospital nursery Last Updated: Friday, April 3, 2009 7:19 AM AT

CBC News Three babies born in the last three weeks at Charlottetown's Queen Elizabeth Hospital have tested positive for antibiotic-resistant bacteria, just weeks after an outbreak was declared over.

Two of the babies are infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and officials are still waiting for final test results on the third. The babies are all healthy and have been sent home.

Hospital executive director Rick Adams told CBC News Thursday they still don't know the source of the problem. "We were looking at what is different over the last several weeks,"said Adams.

"Number one, we know we have relaxed our visiting restrictions. Number Two, since the outbreak back in late 2008 was declared over, we slowly relaxed other barrier precautions. In spite of that though, at the same time, we were carrying out or conducting environmental swabs."

Visitor restrictions and requirements for gloves and gowns in the maternity ward were lifted in late February after an outbreak that began last spring was felt to be under control.

Increased infection control measures and visiting restrictions are being put back in place in the maternity unit. All health-care workers will wear gloves, gowns and masks when caring for newborns. In addition, mothers and babies will continue to be screened for MRSA.The only people allowed to visit in the maternal-newborn care area will be partners, grandparents and siblings. Visitors are being restricted to immediate family for gynecology patients.

Adams said at this point staff are not being tested.

Strict rules on cleaning hands upon entering and leaving the hospital are also in place.