Thursday 27 July 2017

Hospital in superbug spike has inadequate isolation facilities

The spike in C Difficile cases which happened in the third quarter of last year was contributed to by failings in cleaning and delays in isolating patients
The spike in C Difficile cases which happened in the third quarter of last year was contributed to by failings in cleaning and delays in isolating patients
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

A hospital which suffered a sharp rise in patients contracting the superbug C Difficile also has inadequate facilities for decontaminating surgical instruments, an inspector's report has revealed.

The inspection of Roscommon Hospital in September also found the decontamination area for endoscopes, which are tubular instruments used to view inside the body, was dirty, the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) reported.

The spike in C Difficile cases which happened in the third quarter of last year was contributed to by failings in cleaning and delays in isolating patients with potentially infectious diarrhoea.

The affected ward had 46 beds and only one single room with an ensuite toilet and shower. The deficiencies in en-suite isolation facilities should be addressed, the inspectors warned.

There were also problems with bed-spacing, and treatment of patients in close proximity to each other increases risk of infection spread. It found the dirty decontamination area was small in size and could only be accessed through an operating room.

The inspectors also discovered that decontamination of reusable surgical instruments were performed in the operating theatre by theatre staff instead of the central sterile supply department.

Unsafe injection practices were also found in the operating room. Anaesthetic drugs were drawn up for one patient in advance of their arrival into the operating theatre department.

"The practice of pre-preparing intravenous medication may pose an increased risk of infection for patients," said the report.

An action plan was put in place for the hospital to address the deficiencies and further inspections will take place.

Irish Independent

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