Altnagelvin Hospital issues alert over infection control as vomiting bug closes ward

Wed, 08/02/2012 - 19:54 -- Editor

The Western Health and Social Care Trust are asking people not to visit patients at Altnagelvin Hospital if they have been feeling unwell, after an increase in diarrhoea and vomiting cases which has closed one ward.

The Trust has reported that an increase in diarrhoea and vomiting (D&V) has been experienced among patients in a care of the elderly ward in Altnagelvin Hospital in recent days and the ward has been temporarily closed to new patient admissions.

The Trust's Infection Prevention and Control team is continuing to provide advice and increased infection control measures have been taken.

Elaine Way, Western Trust Chief Executive said: “D&V is easily spread in closed environments and the decision was taken to close one of the wards as part of infection control measures.”

She continued: “The public has an important role to play by not visiting the hospital if they are feeling unwell, particularly if they have diarrhoea and/or vomiting. And if someone has been unwell we would advise them to wait until at least 48 hours after they have had diarrhoea and/or vomiting before visiting the hospital.

“Those who are visiting are asked to thoroughly wash their hands before and after visiting, for their own protection as well as for the prevention of the spread of infection to patients.

“Visitors are asked to limit visiting to the designated times of between 3pm and 4pm and from 7pm until 8.30pm.They should only visit the one patient whilst at the hospital and should not move from ward to ward when visiting.

“We are asking relatives and friends of patients in hospital for their understanding and cooperation with the nursing staff with the arrangements which have been put in place in the interest of patients.”

The situation will be kept under review with a view to reopening the ward area affected to patient admissions as soon as is possible.