[IWAR] HEALTH 'superbug'

From: 7Pillars Partners (partnersat_private)
Date: Tue Jan 20 1998 - 10:23:59 PST

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    Posted at 9:04 a.m. PST Tuesday, January 20, 1998 
                      Fourth patient at B.C. hospital has superbug
       ABBOTSFORD, British Columbia (AP) -- A fourth patient at
       Matsqui-Sumas-Abbotsford Hospital has been confirmed to be infected with
       a superbug -- a potentially life-threatening bacterium that can't be
       Two others are now suspected of having picked up the bacterium.
       One of those is a woman who was transferred to the surgical floor from
       the medical floor where she may originally have been infected.
       When suspicions arose about her condition, the hospital closed 44
       surgical beds Monday. The 202-bed hospital has now limited surgeries to
       emergencies only.
       The bacterium is not considered a danger to healthy people but can cause
       problems for people with weakened immune systems, such as AIDS and
       cancer patients, hospital official Bob Breen said Monday.
       The bacterium, vancomycin resistant enterococci (VRE), can also get into
       the bloodstream if someone has an open wound, he said.
       The hospital was closed Thursday after a Fraser Valley man who had been
       in hospital in Palm Springs, Calif., was confirmed as a carrier.
       Although the man was suspected of having VRE, he was put in a double
       room and staff practiced infection control procedures such as wearing
       gloves and hospital gowns - when dealing with him.
       The man's roommate and a woman who was on the same medical floor
       subsequently became infected.
       With Monday's confirmation of another infected patient, the total
       confirmed infected rose to four. None of the four are showing any
       symptoms, such as diarrhea and vomiting.
       Breen said the woman who is suspected of having VRE had been on the same
       floor as the Palm Springs patient.
       She was then transferred to the surgical unit where she underwent
       surgery and then moved to the intensive care unit. The intensive care
       unit, which was on the same floor as the Palm Springs patient, is now
       being temporarily relocated.
       ``We're testing the 25 people who were on the surgical floor today and
       the test results should be known by Wednesday,'' Breen said.
       The spread of VRE within the hospital is being blamed on the fact there
       were only six isolation rooms available in the hospital and when the
       Palm Springs patient was first admitted none were available.
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