Out Of Control is a three-month investigation by Spectator reporters Carmela Fragomeni, Naomi Powell and Joan Walters into killer superbug C.difficile. It examines the crisis in patient safety in hospitals, the response by government and hospital administrators and the impact on victims and families. In May, Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital revealed 91 patients infected with C.difficile died from May 2006 to December 2007 in the worst recorded outbreak in Ontario history. Other C.difficile outbreaks have killed hundreds of patients in Ontario hospitals since 2006.
At least 22 outbreaks of the lethal superbug C. difficile have swept Ontario in 19 months, three times the number previously known.
Figures from a fraction of Ontario hospitals hint at how enormous the scope of lethal superbug outbreaks may turn out to be.
Why have hundreds died in Ontario hospitals after being infected with superbug?
A killer in Ontario’s hospitals – A vicious new strain of C. difficile has left a trail of agonizing deaths
The rise in the death rate for Ontario patients infected in hospitals occurred amid a series of C. diff outbreaks that have catapulted the superbug into a major public issue.
Shock, grief and few answers. Health system still ill-equipped to handle outbreaks
The C. difficile cases at Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital were scattered throughout the building, making the bug’s advance difficult to notice.
That outbreak in 2000 marked the fatal NAP1 strain’s arrival in North America. Its rapid spread and the severe toll it took on its victims shocked experts.
a) Outside Ontario, rising death and infection rates from a vicious new strain of the superbug C. difficile have prompted governments to call inquiries, impose fines, offer incentives and take other action to bring the disease under control.
b) Even some doctors recoil at the mention of fecal transplants. But the few healers in Canada who offer them are claiming a 90 to 95 per cent success rate.