Preventing infections at the new Children’s
Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - 12:31
Although hospitals see plenty of diseases, there’s no reason you have to get sick inside one. The MUHC, like every other hospital, has rules regarding infection control, but sometimes the facilities make it difficult to fully implement them. Infection control with young children is difficult, since they touch everything, have poorer hygiene, and need lots of hands-on care. These rules are especially important since they are not yet immune. But at the new Glen Campus, conditions will improve significantly for our patients, their families and our staff.
At the new MUHC, all rooms will be private, to minimize chance of transmission and allow for a child requiring isolation precautions to be cared for with ease. These rooms will also be more spacious, which will allow family members to spend the night and help with care.
Dr. Dorothy Moore, an Associate Infection Control Physician for Child & Adolescent Services at the MCH, mentions that the Glen Campus will have a more sophisticated ventilation system than our existing facilities. “Highly filtered air will be distributed to areas where high-risk patients who are vulnerable to airborne infections will be cared for” she explains. This reduces the risk of contaminants from outside.
For special needs, two types of rooms will be available to help prevent transmission of airborne infections, At the Glen, there will be more of these rooms in every department. “At the Children’s, we’re often in a crunch to find enough rooms, and sometimes the airflow is unreliable, so we have to move the child to another room,”
says. At the new campus, these rooms will be built from scratch instead of modifying older ones. Also, special attention is given to materials to ensure they don’t attract dust and are very durable, since they are washed often. Moore
Infections are prevented mainly by hygiene, since most diseases are acquired through contact. There will be hand-washing stations or alcohol-based hand rubs at all points where staff and visitors come into contact with patients. Also, if patients are infectious, they are not allowed to play or to share with others.
explains: “Now they play in their rooms, and toys, videos and whatever else they want are brought to their rooms. It will be even easier to keep them apart because every child will be in a single room.” Moore
To ensure everyone’s safety, Lyne St-Martin, manager of Infection Prevention & Control at the MCH explains, “At the Glen Campus, we will educate the public by having posters, videos and interactive material in strategic areas. We will continue to provide masks, tissues, and alcohol-based hand rubs in waiting rooms and public areas.” Advanced ventilation, plenty of hand hygiene facilities, 100% single-patient rooms and the right choice of materials will make a major impact on infection control at the new Children’s. But there’s nothing like common courtesy and vigilant hygiene on the part of all staff, patients and visitors to ensure a safe hospital environment.