Zero Hospital-Acquired Infections

//Zero Hospital-Acquired Infections

Bandon’s Southern Coos Hospital had zero hospital-acquired infections in 2012, according to statistics released by the Oregon Health Authority.

“It’s safe to say that there hasn’t been a hospital acquired infection here since the state required reporting in 2009,” Jay Straley, manager of the hospital lab and the hospital’s Infection Control Coordinator, said. “Preventing hospital acquired infections is more than cooperation between hospital staff and patients. It involves the entire community.

“More patients nationally get a hospital acquired infection from the outside — if visitors, friends and family aren’t diligent about hand washing. Hand washing is the number one thing you can do to prevent infection. The visitors coming into Southern Coos are conscious of the potential of being the carrier of an organism that could result in an infection so they wash their hands, and wear masks and gowns when asked to do so. This is a reflection of a total community commitment to excellence.”

The focus of the state report is Clostridium difficile, or C. diff. This is a disease that can cause life-threatening cases of diarrhea and kills 14,000 Americans annually.

“We have not had any of our in-patients acquire C. diff. ever,” Straley said.

Oregon hospitals have been required to self-report hospital-acquired illnesses since 2009, although C. diff reporting began only last year.  The report said that “most hospital-acquired infections are declining nationally, but C. diff remains on the rise.” It occurs when patients accidentally ingest spores of the bacteria while they are patients in a hospital, nursing home or similar facilities.