Superbug outbreak blamed on hospital cleaning cuts

21st of June 2017
Superbug outbreak blamed on hospital cleaning cuts

A decision to cut cleaning schedules from seven days a week to six has been implicated in an outbreak of a superbug at an Irish hospital.

Carbapenemase-producing enterobacteriaceae (CPE) was first identified at Dublin’s Tallaght Hospital in 2015. Since then more than 2,000 patients have come into contact with the superbug.
The outbreak has forced the hospital to cancel 7,000 operations, restrict visiting hours and test hundreds of patients on a weekly basis, it is claimed.

The hospital has also had to dramatically increase its cleaning budget in an effort to tackle the potentially fatal superbug. The total cost of these measures is estimated at being up to €6 million.
Cleaning cuts in 2015 meant staff were left with just seven minutes to clean a bed before a new patient was admitted. And routine cleaning was cancelled altogether on Sundays.

Other issues claimed to have contributed to the outbreak include hospital overcrowding, staff shortages, insufficient numbers of single rooms and a lack of proper IT systems to track and monitor the bug.

Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae bacteria live in the gut and are normally harmless. But if they enter the bladder, bloodstream or another part of the body they can cause an infection that can be potentially fatal to more vulnerable patients.

 

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