The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) has a policy to prevent the spread of antibiotic resistant organisms to our patients who could be more at risk of serious infections.
What is CPE?
Enterobacteriaceae are a family of bacteria, many of which live naturally in our bowels. Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae are a group of bacteria (germs) that are different from normal bowel bacteria. Antibiotics used to treat infection caused by CPE bacteria may not work as well and that is why they are called “antibiotic resistant”.
People who have multiple and serious health problems or who are often in hospital are more likely to have these bacteria in their body. Similar to other bacteria, you may carry CPE bacteria in your body without having an infection. If you get an infection, your doctor will test you to see if and what bacteria is causing the infection; that is when most people with CPE bacteria find out that they have them.
How are CPE bacteria spread?
CPE bacteria are spread from one person to another on unwashed hands or dirty surfaces and/or equipment. CPE bacteria do not spread through the air.
I have CPE, how will this change my hospital stay?
If you are identified as having CPE, a code will be entered on your electronic hospital file. Everytime you stay in the hospital, you will automatically be placed in a private room. A green sign will be posted at the entrance to your room reminding your health care provider(s) to wear gloves and sometimes a gown. Your visitors will be asked to wash their hands upon entering and when leaving your hospital room.
What happens when I go home?
No extra precautions are needed in your home. It is always a good idea to cover your mouth when you cough, wash your hands regularly, and if you have open cuts, keep them covered.
When you come to the hospital for a clinic or doctor’s appointment, you will be asked to wash your hands when you arrive and your health care provider(s) will wear gloves when they examine you.
If you have any other questions, please ask. Your doctor or nurse will be happy to provide you with more information.
Infection Prevention and Control