Loading articles...

NDP wants probe into 84 infection deaths at Burnaby General

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The BC NDP Opposition is demanding an investigation of infection control measures, following more than 80 bacteria-related deaths at Burnaby Hospital over the past 30 months.

NDP Health Critic Mike Farnworth says the B.C. Centre for Disease Control must be called in to review the high number of C-difficile cases at the facility since 2009.

“Physicians said ‘enough is enough’, this has got to be taken seriously, and they listed 16 recommendations that they felt could go a long way to helping deal with the challenge,” said Farnworth.

He cited a January letter to the Fraser Health Authority signed by seven Burnaby Hospital medical department heads and one infectious disease expert that cites 473 serious cases of C-Difficile at the hospital, along with 84 related deaths.

‘This is a damning indictment of the issue of C-Difficile which is a very cantagious, nasty, bacterial infection that can cause all kinds of intestinal issues, colitis, fever and death,” suggested Farnworth.

He added the numbers peg the rate of C-Difficile infection at the hospital, at two to three times national and provincial averages.

The letter says there is a ‘significant, serious and sustained problem’ with C-Difficile rates at Burnaby Hospital, and the situation presents a case of medical negligence that could result in legal action.

Fraser Health President Nigel Murray responded to the concerns with a letter last month saying the hospital is making significant strides to reduce C-Difficile.

Health Minister Mike De Jong said the Fraser Health Authority is making progress in controlling the bug, and there is no need to avoid Burnaby Hospital.

“The people working there, the clinicians, the support staff are working hard to keep it safe, and the health authority will continue to monitor the situation,” he said.

De Jong adds he will not rule out calling in the B-C Centre for Disease Control to review the situation if hospital officials support the move.