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April 2, 2009
For immediate release

Queen Elizabeth Hospital Taking Extra Precautions


The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) is reporting three cases of newborns who have tested positive for Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA). These cases have been identified over several weeks and appear to be unrelated. Although testing positive for MRSA, all three newborns remained healthy and were appropriately discharged from the hospital.

“We have received the results for the first two cases and they appear to be unrelated. As an extra precaution, visiting restrictions are being put in place and we are increasing infection control measures,” said Rick Adams, Executive Director for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. “As part of the infection control measures, staff and physicians will wear gloves, gowns and masks when caring for newborns and we continue to screen new mothers and babies for MRSA upon admission and discharge.”

As an added control measure, visitation is being restricted to partner, grandparents and siblings of all ages for maternal/newborn care, and to immediate family only for gynecology patients.

It is extremely important that everyone in the hospital clean their hands before and after visiting a patient’s room, and upon entering and leaving the QEH. Alcohol hand rinse stations are available throughout the building for this purpose.

MRSA is a bacteria that is resistant to certain types of antibiotics. These bacteria are most commonly spread by direct and also indirect contact via hands. Patients who test positive for these antibiotic resistant bacteria can either be colonized or infected. Colonization occurs when the bacteria lives on one or more body sites with no signs and symptoms of illness. Infection occurs when the bacteria gets past a person’s normal defenses and the individual becomes ill.

Media Contact: Laura Jones
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