A patient with C. difficile has died in a non-surgical unit of the Juravinski Hospital, which currently has an outbreak of the bacterial infection.
The patient was part of the initial group of cases that resulted in an outbreak being declared at the E3 unit on Aug. 27, said hospital spokesperson Vel Snoukphonh.
That patient died Wednesday.
Although the patient had C. difficile, hospital staff have determined that it was unlikely to have contributed to that person's death, she said.
The patient's C. difficile symptoms were improving but other health factors led to the death.
The unit has five hospital-acquired cases, two of which were new Wednesday.
Another patient was diagnosed earlier this week but was moved to another unit, she said.
Juravinski is the third Hamilton hospital to have a C. difficile outbreak this summer. The Charlton campus of St. Joseph's Healthcare also declared an outbreak that ended in August. A patient with C. difficile died there, but the hospital also determined it was not the cause of death.
Hamilton General Hospital's surgical trauma unit also had an outbreak of C. difficile that ended in late August.
Since C. difficile infection can be triggered by antibiotic use, each patient on antibiotics is reviewed by the hospital's antimicrobial stewardship group, Juravinski Hospital said in a release Wednesday evening.
All clinics and services at Juravinski Hospital continue to function as usual.
The hospital as a whole sees about five patients with hospital-acquired C. difficile on an average month, and about the same number who arrive at the hospital with it, spokesperson Heather Pullen said.