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Update on cluster of Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci cases at Queen Elizabeth Hospital

The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

     Regarding the announcement earlier on some patients of the neurosurgical department found to be the carrier of Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci (VRE), the spokesperson of Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) made the following update today (September 27):

     In accordance with the prevailing infection control guidelines, four more male patients (aged 46 to 84) are found to be carriers of VRE through contact tracing, but all without clinical symptoms. Among them, two are still hospitalised in QEH, they are in stable condition and under isolation. The other two patients died of their own underlying illnesses which are unrelated to VRE. The laboratory screening for other related patients continues to be in progress.

     The cases have been reported to the Hospital Authority Head Office and the Centre for Health Protection for necessary follow up.

     The hospital has a follow-up meeting with experts on infection control today and has adopted the following enhanced infection control measures:

1. All VRE carriers are being isolated in rooms or cohorted in the same cubicle;

2. Visiting is limited to two people each day, and they have to observe hand hygiene and put on gloves and gown;

3. Discharge to old age home is not allowed until clearance of VRE carriage;

4. A separate team of nursing staff for the care of VRE carriers and non-carriers;

5. Strict adherence to contact precautions on VRE cases and the use of a dedicated set of non-critical equipments;

6. Environmental cleaning, especially on frequent touch areas, has been stepped up;

7. Disinfection of equipment by hydrogen peroxide vapour;

8. Strict adherence to hand hygiene would be enforced to minimise cross transmission;

9. Patient use items, e.g. linen, etc., would be changed on a daily basis; and

10. Staff have been reminded to pay special attention to procedures that carry a higher risk of cross transmission, e.g. napkin care, catheter care and wound care.

Ends/Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Issued at HKT 20:16


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