Chris Crawford.
Chris Crawford.

Campaign reduced infections: CEO

ONLY one staphylococcus bloodstream infection has been recorded at Lismore Base Hospital in the most recent reporting period, says Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Chris Crawford.

A story in yesterday's Northern Star said patients at the hospital were more likely to be infected with life-threatening bloodstream infections than those admitted to any other hospital in NSW.

The benchmark for bloodstream infections is two per 10,000 bed days.

Lismore had 3.4 infections last year.

But Mr Crawford said the data was out of date.

“For the last three months for which data is available (March to May 2011), Lismore Base Hospital reported only one staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infection,” he said.

“So for the most recent three-month period, the hospital's result of less than 0.4 infections per 10,000 bed days is well under the benchmark of less than two infections per 10,000 bed days.”

Mr Crawford said hospital management started a campaign to reduce infections after the peak 12 months ago.

The campaign focused on improved hand hygiene, better antiseptic techniques for inserting central and peripheral IV lines and more focused environmental cleaning.

“The campaign has brought about a significant reduction in infections,” Mr Crawford said.

“The Lismore Base Hospital clinical and support staff are to be congratulated on the positive way they have responded to this campaign to reduce infections at the hospital.

“It must also be remembered that staphylococcus is a very common bacteria that many people carry on their skin or in their nose and can bring with them into a hospital when they are admitted.

“The Northern NSW Local Health District and Lismore Base Hospital management will continue to work together to monitor infection levels and compliance with the initiatives that have been introduced.”

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