London Health Sciences Centre reports
C. difficile outbreak at Victoria Hospital


For Immediate Release:
August 4, 2010

(LONDON, Ontario) – An outbreak of C. difficile has been identified at London Health Sciences Centre’s Victoria Hospital. Clostridium difficile (C.difficile) is a health care-associated infection. This outbreak has been called because sporadic cases have occurred on several units resulting in total case numbers that are twice the baseline level for Victoria Hospital. Levels, normally averaging 10 cases per month, reached 20 cases at Victoria Hospital in the month of July. Currently, there are seven cases remaining.

In collaboration with the Middlesex London Health Unit these cases have been reported as an outbreak, utilizing the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care’s criteria for public reporting.

"We are continuing with aggressive measures to combat C. difficile transmission, including enhanced surveillance for case identification, reduced patient transfers off units, cohorting of patients where appropriate, enhanced environmental cleaning and changes to bedpan and commode management,” said Mary Lou Card, manager, Integrated Infection Prevention and Control.

"Our primary concern is always the health and well-being of our patients,” said Karen Belaire, chief operating officer - clinical. “Our dedicated professionals continue to work hard to control the spread of C. difficile and we are confident we will soon be able to bring this outbreak status to an end.”

About London Health Sciences Centre

London Health Sciences Centre has been in the forefront of medicine in Canada for 135 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children’s Hospital, South Street Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, two family medical centres, and Lawson Health Research Institute - a joint research initiative with St Joseph’s Health Care, London. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 30 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in Southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s 10,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit

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For more information contact:
Rachelle Wood
Corporate Communications and Public Relations
London Health Sciences Centre
519-685-8500, ext. 77642 pager 13077

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