Potentially Fatal Bacterial Outbreak At San Francisco Hospital

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DougSovern20100908_KCBS_0208r Doug Sovern
Doug began his career as a copy boy at the New York Times, and then...
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CBS SF Bay (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSSanFrancisco.com/ACA

Health News & Information: CBSSanFrancisco.com/Health

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Two floors of California Pacific Medical Center on California Street in San Francisco were infected two weeks ago with clostridium difficile, more commonly known as “C Diff.”

As many as ten patients became violently ill with diarrhea on the hospital’s East Campus. The affected floors had to be evacuated and sterilized to prevent the highly contagious, and potentially deadly, bacterial infection from spreading.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

Dr. Sean Townsend, the hospital’s vice president of quality and safety, said although C Diff outbreaks are often fatal, all of these patients survived.

The hospital’s infected areas were shut down and cleaned floor to ceiling with bleach solution. Doctors, nurses, even family members visiting the affected patients wore full gowns and rubber gloves as a precautionary measure.

One man said his uncle is still hospitalized, and is experiencing symptoms.

“We tend to have bad bugs that reside amongst our chronically-ill patients. You can’t help it when you travel among health care circles that these organisms exist,” said Townsend.

In California, hospitals must keep track of C Diff infections and report them to the state. CPMC’s infection rate ranking is in the middle of the pack, lower than some, but higher than others.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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