Gordon Ward Remains Closed To Admissions

February 27, 2013

[Updated] Following an illness outbreak on the hospital’s Gordon Ward earlier this week, the Bermuda Hospitals Board [BHB] confirmed seven of the patients are no longer symptomatic, although one additional staff member and one patient have fallen ill.

Gordon Ward remains closed to admissions, and isolation procedures are still and place, with protective wear required for all staff and visitors going into isolation rooms. BHB said a full investigation is ongoing to identify the exact cause of this illness.

Last night BHB said, “Infection prevention measures are still in place in Gordon Ward, although affected individuals are now recovering from the symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea.

“Of the twelve patients initially affected, seven are confirmed to be no longer symptomatic, although since yesterday, one additional staff member and one patient have been confirmed.

“Gordon Ward remains closed to admissions, and isolation procedures are in place for all patients are still unwell. This includes protective wear for all staff and visitors going into isolation rooms, enhanced cleaning and a request for visitors to postpone their visitors unless it is urgent.

“It takes time to analyze samples in order to identify and confirm the illness and at this time it is premature for speculation. The clinical diagnosis is gastroenteritis, which can be caused by many organisms. A full investigation is ongoing to identify the exact cause, but individuals are recovering with the timely treatment of symptoms.

“It is not unusual for hospitals around the world to experience outbreaks of this nature. It is always important to respond swiftly to implement best practice infection control protocols to minimize the spread of any illness.

“BHB is continuing to monitor the situation closely and will update the community as the facts are known,” the spokesperson concluded.

Update 4.57pm: The BHB said a total of 15 patients and 14 employees have been impacted to date,and infection prevention measures are still in place in Gordon Ward due to the outbreak of gastroenteritis. The full statement is below.

BHB confirms today that infection prevention measures are still in place in Gordon Ward due to the outbreak of gastroenteritis. Individuals affected are recovering within 24 to 48 hours, although two new patient cases of gastroenteritis in Gordon Ward have occurred in the last 24 hours, and five employees have reported symptoms of gastroenteritis.

Gordon Ward continues under the current strict precautions including enhanced cleaning practices, visitor restrictions, and restrictions of new admissions and transfers. All patients who are unwell are in isolation rooms and visitors and staff must put on disposable protective wear before entering, and dispose of it on leaving the room. It is recommended that current restrictions/interventions continue at least through Friday.

It is not unusual for hospitals around the world to experience outbreaks of this nature. It is always important to respond swiftly to implement best practice infection control protocols to minimize the spread of any illness. BHB is continuing to monitor the situation closely and will update the community as the facts are known.

Latest facts:

  • A total of 15 patients have been impacted to date, seven of whom are no longer symptomatic.
  • A total of 14 employees have been impacted to date, eight of whom are no longer symptomatic.
  • ยท Gastroenteritis can be caused by many different organisms, but samples to date have tested negative for many of the common causes.

Preventing the spread of gastroenteritis:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly with soap and water, and especially after going to the bathroom, changing diapers and before handling food or eating.
  • If you are caring for, or visit, someone who has gastroenteritis, make sure the individual washes his or her hands with soap and water, and that you wash your hands with soap and water after any patient contact.
  • If you are caring for someone who is ill, immediately clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces using bleach cleaner. Remove and wash soiled linens. Use hot water and soap.
  • Do not prepare food if you have symptoms. Wait three days after you have recovered before handling food again.
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Comments (2)

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  1. DJ says:

    Stop the B.S. You screwed up!
    Dont tell me about what happens around the world!
    Who is the Infectious Disease Specialist?

    • Bda-bionerd says:

      It’s not BS. These outbreaks happen in hospitals, cruise ships, office buildings, and schools all over the world, every year. Even when proper hygiene and infection control measures are taken by everyone. It’s not that Bermuda screwed up.

      This is medicine, these things happen. By the sound of it, BHB got it contained quickly, which is the ideal response in the given situation as it could have spread much further, faster if not. Most likely a testament of the measures taken in hospital to help control and counter such outbreaks.

      Please don’t be so quick to judge. I know of the stories that come out of KEMH, but whether you choose to believe it or not – there are a lot of people working there who are good at what they do and care about both their patients and the patient’s family members.

      Props to everyone who helped get this outbreak contained so quickly.