Hazard ARH cleans out bacteria

By: Marcus Conroy Email
By: Marcus Conroy Email

Officials at one hospital are taking steps to prevent a form of bacteria from spreading.

The Hazard ARH reported there was a concern about an increase in the number of instances of this disease in the ICU last month. Medical professionals say this is not the first time acinetobacter has caused concern in hospitals.

"Every health care institution is going to have acinetobacter in their patient populations. It's worldwide," said Fontaine Sands of the state's Department of Public Health.

The bacteria can be easily spread through contact. But to patients with weakened immune systems, it can be dangerous.

When it was detected at the Hazard ARH, the hospital immediately reported this to state agencies.

"We wanted them to validate what we were doing, our different types of processes, things like caring for our patients. That we were doing what we are supposed to be doing," said Hazard ARH Donnie Fields.

"If there is anything else that we can do differently to make sure we are taking all the necessary precautions," said Ellen Wright, the chief nursing officer of the ARH system.

The disease is spread on contact, one of many reasons why the hospital has cleaning stations for each room in the ICU. Nurses can sanitize, put on new gowns, and gloves before entering rooms.

To try to prevent the spread of diseases, medical professionals say they can not stress enough the importance of washing your hands before entering a patient's room.

"We've gone through and re-educated our staff. We've also re-educated our medical staff, as well as educating the community on the importance of proper hygiene," said Fields.

Officials with the department of public health say the hospital is free of the bacteria now, and it has taken suggestions to try and prevent future spreading.

Officials at ARH told WYMT that as each patient was discharged from the ICU, they would intensely clean the room and the area before another patient was checked in. However, the unit never shut down during this process.

They also say that no one died in their care from this infection.

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