October 16, 2006

Judie Havers
London Health Sciences Centre
519-685-8500, ext. 58738

Betty Dann
St. Joseph's Health Care, London
519-646-6000, ext. 64792

Infection Prevention:
National Infection Control Week - October 16 – 20, 2006.

(LONDON, Ontario) - Each year, the Community and Hospital Infection Control Association of Canada (CHICA-Canada) designates one week to raising awareness of infection control. The emergence of avian influenza and new diseases like SARS has made infection prevention more critical than ever before. “Infection Prevention: Planning for Tomorrow” is the theme of this year’s National Infection Control Week, October 16 to 20.

“Increasing rates of antibiotic resistant bacteria in Ontario hospitals are concerning, and efforts to change this trend have so far not been successful,” says Dr. Michael John, City-wide Epidemiology and Infection Control. Dr. John also stated that, “Efforts to improve compliance with hand hygiene and basic infection prevention and control practices will bring about reductions in antibiotic resistant bacteria and hospital acquired infections.”

The Citywide Infection Prevention and Control program has undertaken a 5-year campaign to encourage hospital staff to change and improve their hand hygiene behaviour.

Mary Lou Card, RN, City-wide Infection Control Team Leader says, “Practicing hand hygiene has been identified as the number one way to prevent infections and we need to do it well and do it often. We look forward to our staff, patients and visitors helping to make our hospitals an even safer place by preventing the spread of infections through practicing regular hand hygiene.” She adds, “Everyone can make a difference.”

Things everyone can do:

  • Wash your hand frequently
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze
  • Stay home if you have a fever
  • Keep your immunizations up to date.

London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is one of Canada’s largest acute-care teaching hospitals and is dedicated to excellence in patient care, teaching and research. LHSC has pioneered many national and international medical breakthroughs. Located in London, Ontario, LHSC encompasses three sites, South Street Hospital, University Hospital and Victoria Hospital; two family medical centres; and the London Regional Cancer Program. LHSC is the home of the Children’s Hospital of Western Ontario and CSTAR (Canadian Surgical Technologies & Advanced Robotics). LHSC is affiliated with The University of Western Ontario. Physicians and staff at LHSC number more than 8,000 and together they provide care for more than 650,000 patients each year.

St. Joseph’s Health Care, London is a major patient care, teaching and research centre with a distinguished legacy of service to London, Southwestern Ontario and the veterans of Canada, dating back more than 130 years. St. Joseph’s five key role areas include acute/ambulatory care, complex care and veterans care, long-term care, rehabilitation and specialized geriatrics and specialized mental health care. Facilities and services including St. Joseph’s Hospital, Parkwood Hospital, Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care and Regional Mental Health Care London and St. Thomas are part of the St. Joseph’s family. Our research arm, the Lawson Health Research Institute, continues to direct their research to the development of new knowledge that is continually being applied directly to patient care. More than 400,000 patients annually receive care from close to 6,000 physicians and staff at St. Joseph’s. St. Joseph’s is affiliated with the University of Western Ontario.