New Guide Highlights Test For Drug Resistant Bacteria

Infection control specialists at Forth Valley Royal Hospital are producing a new guide for patients admitted to hospital to let them know about testing for multi-drug resistant bacteria called Carbapenemase Producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE).  The guide explains that the CPE bacteria normally live harmlessly in the gut but if they get into the wrong place, such as the bladder or bloodstream, they can cause infection. There has been an increase in the incidence of infection and colonisation of CPE across the UK.

Patients will be asked a series of questions either a pre-assessment clinics or when they are admitted to hospital. These include whether they have been an inpatient in a hospital outside Forth Valley, including receiving holiday dialysis, whether they have been in contact with someone with CPE or if they have had CPE in the past. If the answer to any of the questions is yes, a sample will be taken for testing and, if positive, patients will be cared for in a single room for the duration of their hospital stay.

NHS Forth Valley Lead Nurse for Infection Control, Trisha Miller, said: “If a person is a carrier of CPE, they do not need to be treated. However, if the bacteria have caused an infection then antibiotics will be required. Generally, there are no visitor restrictions however visitors with underlying medical conditions affecting their immune system should avoid visiting.

“CPE can be spread from one person to another on unwashed hands, contaminated or unclean equipment, or the bacteria may be picked up from the environment both in the community and hospital setting. The most important measure to help prevent the spread of CPE is thorough hand washing with soap and water and patients and visitors should avoid touching any medical devices that may be in place such as catheters.”