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Outbreak at QEH

klebsiellapneumoniaeA special infection control team has been called in by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to deal with an organism that has been discovered there.

In a statement issued tonight, the hospital revealed that over the last 18 months it had been dealing with an increase in infections caused by the Klebsiella Pneumoniae organism, which has been found on a number of wards.

While the QEH’s own Infection Control Team has been meeting with epidemiologists at the Ministry of Health to review protocols for handling the situation, the statement added:

“In an effort to strengthen the hospital’s quality control programme, an infection control team from the Pan American Health Organisation has been invited to review the operations of the QEH to increase the safety and level of patient care.

“The team, which arrived this evening, is expected to improve on disease surveillance systems, inclusive of a laboratory information system to enhance monitoring and treatment of Klebsiella Pneumonia cases.

“It is envisioned that this process will only be a first step towards a broader based programme to improve quality and detect weaknesses.”

In the meanwhile, it added: “The hospital has put several measures in place to mitigate the spread of these infections… Hygiene practices have been reinforced to provide a safer environment for patients and staff. Patients who have been diagnosed are being barrier nursed.”

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, Klebsiella Pneumoniae is a “bacteria that can cause different types of health care-associated infections, including pneumonia, bloodstream infections, wound or surgical site infections, and meningitis. Increasingly, Klebsiella bacteria have developed antimicrobial resistance, most recently to the class of antibiotics known as carbapenems.

“Klebsiella bacteria are normally found in the human intestines (where they do not cause disease). They are also found in human stool (feces). In health care settings, Klebsiella infections commonly occur among sick patients who are receiving treatment for other conditions. Patients whose care requires devices like ventilators (breathing machines) or intravenous (vein) catheters, and patients who are taking long courses of certain antibiotics are most at risk for Klebsiella infections. Healthy people usually do not get Klebsiella infections.” (RRM)

One Response to Outbreak at QEH

  1. Tony Webster April 3, 2013 at 4:10 am

    This approaches the kind of factual info, which the Holy grail of F.O.I. will eventually bring to this fair land. The QEH management should be applauded. However, the release yet requires some plain-speak translation:-
    1. I doult PAHO has been simply “invited” here to help: logically, we pressed the “Red Rutton” because we are out (or almost of) of options, and t’ings real dread. My dad died in Q.E.H. in 1995…of “cardio-pulmonary complications” . He certainly did not enter there with such.
    2. No mention of a “carrier” (aka “Typhoid Mary”). A bank here well-known to me, had such a (very pleasant) lady many years back; 65 folks were real sick with Salmonella; 9 hospitalised…but Min. Health DID locate the carrier, to their great credit, and showed staff a video, which was an education for me. BTW, a doctor, or a senior member of the QEH admin. management…could also be a carrier.hhmm…Devilish little things…them messy microbes!
    3. “Klebsiella infections commonly occur amongst patients receieving treatment for other conditions”: The only meaning I can put to this, is that anyone in there (visitors too?), might be a vector… or a victim.
    4. QEH should also pay close attention, to (a) out-patients and those who accompany them (b) “kind” folks/family, who bring-in food for patients.
    While our own forensic specialists and the “invited” ones tackle an obviously very serious matter, I feel this has at least given us an appreciation of what a brave and responsible government could do for us, if only this country could be blessed with a F.O.I. Act!

    TW Final Translation:-
    Visit only if absolutely necessary; QEH already have a lot on their hands…don’t add to this.
    Sanitise hands PROPERLY at every “sanitation station”…especially the last one…when you leave!
    Doan touch ANYTHING, including elevator buttons, door-knobs/hadles, stair-rails, your loved-one, bed-rails; arm-rests on chairs, telephones; telephone-directories, toilet-doors and vanity basins especially; snack-dispensing machines. Doan shake ANYONE’s hands. Nothing so. It’s OK to look, but doan touch nurses either.


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