A ward and the stroke unit at St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny have been closed to new admissions as the hospital grapples with a superbug outbreak and a number of Covid cases.
A number of patients with Carpbepenemase Producing Enterobacterales (CPE) were identified in St Luke’s, which resulted in the closure of the Medical 1 GEMS and Stroke Unit to new admissions. Full infection prevention and control precautions have put in place, in line with the national guidelines.
The patients were identified due to implementation of the national CPE screening programme. The infection prevention and control team continue to work with staff to ensure best practice is followed in line with Hospital Infection Control Policy and national best practice guidelines for management of CPE.
The hospital currently is currently treating several Covid-19 patients in its Covid wards. A small number of staff who have had close contact with the patients have been tested and are currently self-isolating as outlined by the Covid-19 safety and contact tracing protocols.
"The hospital is extremely busy at this time and we ask patients to consider all of their care options before attending the hospital," said a statement from the Ireland East Hospital Group.
"However if you are unwell and require urgent care, please do attend the hospital."
The hospital's Infection Prevention and Control Team has an ongoing surveillance programme for identifying patients colonised or infected with resistant micro-organisms. The surveillance programme was successful in identifying the patients, allowing for prompt action by the infection control team and ward staff in line with Hospital Infection Control Policy and national and international best practice guidelines in this area. Incidents and trends in infections are monitored and discussed on a monthly basis at the Hospital’s Quality and Patient Safety Committee and at IEHG Group level.
Full information on CPE can be found on the HSE website https://www.hse.ie/ eng/about/who/healthwellbeing/ our-priority-programmes/hcai/ resources/cpe/
The IEHG is asking people to adhere to public health advice and the Level 5 restrictions at this time. Visiting hospitals is not permitted, except for compassionate grounds. Do not attend a hospital or any health care facility if you have any symptoms suggestive of Covid 19 infection. Please contact your GP by phone for advice if you have any concerns. Further advice is available at www.hse.ie
The hospital would like to acknowledge the work and support of all staff at this time.