Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus (VRE)

Rates of Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus (VRE) Infection at NBRHC

VRE can be acquired within the hospital (HA) or from the community (CA). The rate of VRE infection is calculated as a rate per 1000 patient days. The rate is calculated by taking the total number of new HA cases each month and dividing by the total number of patient days each month multiplied by 1000. The total patient days represents a sum of the number of days during which services were provided to all inpatients during that given time period.

The rate is calculated as follows:
Number of new hospital-acquired cases of VRE in our facility X 1000
Total number of patient days (for one month)

Although VRE can cause a number of different infections, as recommended by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, only blood stream infections will be reported at this time.

What is VRE?

Enterococci are bacteria that are normally present in the human intestines and in the female genital tract and are often found in the environment. These bacteria can sometimes cause infections. Vancomycin is an antibiotic that is often used to treat infections caused by enterococci. When the enterococci have become resistant to this drug it is called Vancomycin enterocci or VRE.

What are the risk factors for VRE?

Risk factors for VRE acquisition include severity of underlying illness, presence of invasive devices, antibiotic use and length of hospital stay.

How will your doctor know if you have VRE?

All patients that are admitted to hospital are screened for VRE if they have recently been in another health care facility or communal residence. Screening involves swabs, with a large Q-tip, the inside of the nose, rectum and any open wounds.

How is VRE treated?

Treatment for VRE will depend on a number of factors. Your doctor is the most qualified to decide what is the best treatment for you.

How is VRE spread?

VRE is spread from one person to another by contact, usually on the hands of caregivers. VRE can be present on the caregiver’s hands either from touching contaminated material excreted by the infected person or from touching articles contaminated by the skin of a person with VRE such as towels, sheets, wound dressings.

How is the infection controlled within the hospital?

A number of practices are in place to control the spread of VRE that includes:

  • Screening all patients with risk factors for VRE.
  • Placing patients with VRE in a single room.
  • Individuals entering a room of a patient with VRE must wear personal protective attire that includes gloves and long sleeve gowns.
  • To keep everyone’s hands clean, alcohol hand wash is located outside all patient rooms.
  • Enhance environmental cleaning is done in rooms of patients with VRE.

Please note as indicated on our website the pt. care days for our C.difficle infection will always be different than our pt. care days for MRSA and VRE because we do not include paediatric pt. days for those children under one year of age.

Source: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

North Bay

50 College Drive,
P.O. Box 2500
North Bay, ON
P1B 5A4
Tel: 705-474-8600

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680 Kirkwood Drive,
Sudbury, ON
P3E 1X3
Tel: 705-675-9193
Fax: 705-675-6817

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