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Stevenson pleased with response and precautions taken in resolving C. difficile cases

ALLISTON – May 14, 2015 – Stevenson Memorial Hospital is pleased to report that since declaring an outbreak of Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) on April 15, 2015, the hospital has had zero transmission of the bacteria.

C. difficile is a bacterium that many people carry in their bowel, posing little risk for healthy individuals. However, it can become a health issue for patients who are unwell, elderly, or otherwise health-comprised, particularly those on antibiotics which kill off the "good bacteria" in the bowel and allow C. difficile to flourish and cause infection. The most effective way to stop the spread of the disease is frequent and thorough hand-washing. 

Stevenson Memorial in consultation with Public Health Ontario has brought in robust precautions and safety measures which include a strong enforcement of hand hygiene, putting in place new environmental cleaning systems, and a firm commitment to antibiotics stewardship. 

“We’ve shown a strong commitment to implementing best practices with respect to infection control and prevention measures,” says Jody Levac, President & CEO.  “We realize there is always more work to be done in the area of infection prevention.  Through the diligent work of our staff in implementing new systems, we are confident that we’ve made significant gains in the handling of the outbreak.”

All visitors and patients are asked to pay special attention to good hand hygiene habits when entering and leaving patient care areas.  In certain cases, visitors will be required to wear personal protective equipment, including, gowns and gloves, while visiting with patients.  Enhanced cleaning precautions are being maintained and have included the disinfecting of the entire hospital and patient environments. 

Stevenson will continue to consult with Public Health to ensure we have adequate systems in place to prevent future outbreaks. 

A fact sheet on C. difficile can be downloaded from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s website at: