Montreal

MUHC reports 'incredible decreases' in drug-resistant infections

Charles Frenette, the MUHC’s director of infection control, said the centre has cut the rates of Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) by 64 per cent and 48 per cent respectively in the year since the move to the new Glen site.

Single rooms, aggressive intervention measures and better hand hygiene 'saving lives,' official says

Dr. Charles Frenette said patient safety has improved 'quite a bit' as a result of the improved hygiene and intervention measures. (Elias Abboud / CBC)

Efforts to curb the spread of drug-resistant infections at the McGill University Health Centre are paying off, one hospital official says.

Charles Frenette, the MUHC's director of infection control, said the centre has cut the rates of Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) by 64 per cent and 48 per cent respectively in the year since the move to its new Glen site. 
The MUHC reports incidents of C. difficile, the bacteria pictured here, are down by 35 per cent since the move to the Glen site. (Courtesy of Lois Wiggs/CDC)

Incidents of C. difficile are also down by 35 per cent.

"We've had incredible decreases," Frenette said. "Patient safety has improved quite a bit.… We actually believe that we've saved lives by decreasing these infections."

Frenette said the new Glen campus with its private rooms has helped with the numbers, as have more rigorous room cleaning, better hand hygiene measures for staff and more aggressive interventions when viruses are discovered.

"As soon as we have one or two cases, we have a plan of action — we clean the whole floor, we target interventions, so we limit the spread as early as possible," he said.

Infection rates tumble at Montreal General, too

Frenette said the measures were brought in at the MUHC's old facilities before many of them were consolidated at the Glen campus in 2015, and that's helped.

"I think this dramatic decrease wouldn't have been possible if we did not have all the measures in place to decrease to start with, even at the old sites," Frenette said.

The Montreal General Hospital has also seen a drop in infection rates due to the improved hygiene measures.

Frenette said the rate of VRE has decreased by 35 per cent and C. difficile by 25 per cent at the Montreal General Hospital.

Frenette said the challenge now is to sustain those improvements.

"We've been very effective for one year, but we have to make sure we're doing everything to avoid going back to the state we were in before," he said.

"We have to be constantly vigilant."

with files from Elias Abboud

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