In 2009, Jackson Memorial Hospital was at the center of a Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) outbreak. Over the course of one year, nine patients at the small surgical intensive care unit were infected or colonized by the same supergerm.
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Of the patients affected, four died of blood infections and two others died of other causes. An investigation into the matter revealed that surfaces that were touched frequently were all covered with CRE. These areas included:
- Bed rails
- Ventilator tubing
- IV poles
- Vital sign monitors
- Computer keyboards
Surfaces of mechanical ventilators and the bed rails were not being cleaned at all. During the investigation it was found that housekeepers believed the nurses were responsible for cleaning those surfaces while nurses thought housekeeping was in charge of cleaning – this caused many areas to become contaminated.
The problem was controlled with proper cleaning procedures, separating patients from others, bathing patients with chlorhexidine wipes and by thoroughly educating hospital staff. According to the Palm Beach Post, the hospital has not had any further outbreaks of CRE.
However, an investigation into healthcare associated infections on data.medicare.gov reveals that Jackson Memorial Hospital has reported dozens of observed cases involving other types of hospital-acquired infections. Between July 2012 and June 2013, the hospital reported approximately 113 cases of C.Diff and 60 cases of MRSA.
When caregivers and hospitals that are supposed to help family members get well fail to adhere to proper disinfecting procedures, the consequences can be deadly. If you or a loved one has fallen ill due to a hospital-acquired infection at Jackson Memorial Hospital or another Miami-Dade health facility, you may be entitled to compensation.