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 treated. 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. [INLINE] [INLINE] Return to top[ISMAP]-This image allows you to access site resources 1997 - 1998 Mercury Center. The information you receive online from Mercury Center is protected by the copyright laws of the United States. The copyright laws prohibit any copying, redistributing, retransmitting, or repurposing of any copyright-protected material.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Apr 13 2001 - 13:01:46 PDT