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How many died?

The Health Authority that runs the Burnaby General Hospital is now claiming that the C. difficile outbreak had been a contributing factor in only about 30 deaths.   As noted yesterday, top doctors at the hospital had noted  that 84 patients with C. difficile had died and cited an Ontario report that suggested in outbreaks about 80% of infected patient deaths were attributable to the disease.

That's quite a discrepancy.  But without reporting requirements about C. difficile deaths, who really knows for sure how many died?  That's why we need reporting requirements here in Ontario (as well as BC).   

The Hospital Employees Union released a statement today saying that B.C.'s annual hospital housekeeping audits fail to provide health care decision-makers and the public with a complete picture of the state of hospital cleanliness in the province. 

HEU says that the audits fail to investigate other issues critical to hospital cleanliness and infection control such as the intensity and frequency of cleaning, the training of cleaners, the workload of cleaners, and the adequacy of cleaning supplies and equipment.

HEU represents more than 1200 workers employed  at the hospital and an additional 70 cleaning staff employed by Aramark.  

The housekeeping contract has been contracted out to giant for-profit corporations since 2003, not long after the government passed legislation tearing up large parts of the HEU collective agreement. 


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. My elderly mother passed away on February 29, 2012 after contracting C. Dif from your hospital. She was originarily admitted to the ACE Ward, where she was there for 3 months with a diagnosis of spinal stenosis after suffering many months with chronic back pain. She was discharged from your hospital on Thursday, February 16, 2012 in great health and was able to mobilate without assistance and go downstairs for her meals on her own at the Mulberry Retirement Home. By Saturday, February 18, 2012 she called me in great distress because of unbearable stomach pain. She was admitted to ER at your hospital on Sat. Feb 18 and by Sunday, Feb 19 was diagnosed with C. Dif. The doctor called me on the Monday night wanting to take out her intestines. Upon consultation with my sisters, we agreed that this was not the best course of action. My mom was put on "comfort care" and lasted 9 days in great pain.
    If there is a class action lawsuit against your hospital, I will certainly be joining it.
    I must say though, she received very good and compassionate by some special nurses while she was on Ward 3B.

    Her grieving daughter,

    Karen Anderson

  3. A very sad story Karen. My condolences on your terrible loss. -- Doug


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