For immediate release

December 13, 2011

RVH policies and prevention

Throughout our region, hospitals and health care facilities are facing significant challenges concerning the spread of infectious diseases. These infections are passed along by person-to-person and person-to-object (i.e., door handles, bedrails) contact and include:

  • Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus (VRE): germs that live in the gastrointestinal tract (bowels) and have become resistant to the antibiotic vancomycin.
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MSRA): bacteria commonly found on the skin and in the noses of healthy people that have become resistant to the antibiotic methicillin.
  • Clostridum difficile (C. difficile): a bacterium that causes mild to severe diarrhea and intestinal conditions.

Infection control is always a top priority at RVH, and the hospital is particularly concerned about the protection of those most vulnerable to infection—hospital patients, newborns and the elderly. We ask everyone’s cooperation in adhering to the hospital’s policies outlined below for just this reason.

Visiting policy:

  • Regular visiting hours are from 2 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. However, individual units may have specific visiting times. Please visit the hospital website for details, or call ahead to the nursing unit.
  • Visitors are not permitted if they have symptoms of fever, rash, cough, sneezing, sore throat, runny nose, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, or have had recent contact with someone who has a transmittable disease or unvaccinated children who have had recent exposure to someone with chickenpox.
  • In general, there can be a maximum of two visitors per patient, and all children under the age of 10 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Patients in isolation should have only one visitor at a time and a maximum of two per day, and those visitors must report to the nurse’s station before entering the patient’s room to get information on how to protect themselves during their visit.
  • The visiting policies in the Intensive Care Unit and the Obstetrical Unit are different. Again, check the hospital website for details.

Please consult the hospital website at or call ahead if you have any questions.

Hand hygiene is another very important aspect of RVH’s Visiting Policies and everyday practice, and is the single most effective way to avoid contamination.

The simple act of hand washing can have remarkable benefits when practised properly, improving patient safety and well-being by reducing the spread of germs and infections. Hand sanitizer is a good option when soap and water is not available, and has been shown to kill different kinds of bacteria and viruses.

In order to provide the safest possible environment, hand sanitizer stations are conveniently located throughout the hospital affixed to the walls.

“We ask all visitors to use the sanitizer to eliminate any harmful bacteria from their hands as they enter and as they leave the building, and before entering and upon exiting any room or area within the hospital. Better yet, refrain from moving between patient rooms during a visit to prevent cross-contamination. This is for their own protection, for their loved ones and everyone else they come into contact with,” says Christene Ferguson, Vice-President of Patient Care Services.

Hand washing tips:

  • Remove jewelry before wetting hands and wrists with warm water
  • Lather soap and scrub well for at least 15 seconds including palm to palm, between fingers, thumbs, fingertips, backs of each hand and wrists
  • Rinse and dry thoroughly
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are a good waterless alternative, and should be at least 60% alcohol to be effective. Check the label to be sure.

As we head into the hub of cold and flu season, RVH also urges you to do your part to protect yourself and safeguard the health of others from these viruses that are spread through the air. Antibiotics do not work against viruses.

Reduce your chances of catching or spreading the flu:

  • Consider getting the flu shot when it is available in your community
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often with soap and water or alcohol sanitizer
  • Regularly clean surfaces and disinfect items such as doorknobs and telephone receivers
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with your arm, not your hand
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

While all these steps may seem like a lot of work, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute notes that, “Preventing harm is worth the effort.”

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For more information please contact Randy Penney, President and CEO, Renfrew Victoria Hospital, at 613-432-4851, ext. 260.

We are committed to providing a safe, secure and respectful environment for our patients, staff and visitors
and will not tolerate any form of violent, abusive or aggressive behaviour.