Kingston General Hospital Reports C. Difficile Outbreak

Published on: 2012/01/20 - in News
In a news release this week, Kingston General Hospital reported it is dealing with an outbreak of Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) within the hospital.
KGH is taking all necessary precautions to manage the outbreak while following Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MoHLTC) guidelines and best practices. The outbreak is being contained through the use of rigorous infection control precautions, environmental and equipment cleaning protocols, and hand hygiene practices.

The hospital stressed that keeping patients safe by eliminating all preventable harm is a priority, and that staff are working hard to contain the C. difficile outbreak and stop it from spreading.  Families and visitors are also being advised that they can also help minimize the spread of this infection by following some basic guidelines:

  • Please do not come to the hospital if you are feeling unwell;
  • Please ensure you clean your hands as you enter and exit the hospital;
  • Please ensure you clean your hands before entering and upon exiting a patient’s room;
  • A common way to spread the bacteria is by traveling from one patient room to another. Please ensure that you clean your hands each and every time you enter and exit a patient’s room;
  • Please follow all infection control precautions if the patient you are visiting is identified as needing them – you can ask a member of the health-care team for assistance or clarification.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, C. difficile is a bacterium that causes mild to severe diarrhea and intestinal conditions like pseudomembranous colitis (or inflammation of the colon); and when antibiotics destroy a person’s good bowel bacteria, C. difficile bacteria can grow. When this occurs, the C. difficile bacteria produce toxins, which can damage the bowel and cause diarrhea. However, some people can have C. difficile bacteria present in their bowel and not show symptoms.

For more information about C. difficile, visit the Ministry of Health website.

Kingston General Hospital reports they will continue to keep people informed of the status of this outbreak on their website and in public notices throughout hospital.  Anyone with questions or concerns can email KGH’s patient relations program at or call 613-549-6666 and enter extension 4158.


Photo: Wikimedia Commons