06 Jul Infection outbreak at the RAH, contaminated antibacterial mouthwash
An outbreak of infections from a potentially dangerous bacteria at the Royal Adelaide Hospital is being blamed on contaminated antibacterial mouth wash.
Patients are being restricted to bottled water and unfiltered ice machines are off limits as a precaution against the organism which thrives in moist environments.
The Chlorofluor Gel — commonly sold in chemists for use when brushing teeth — which tested positive for the organism was not beyond its use-by date.
It had turned a telltale orange colour in contrast to the pink colour of uncontaminated products and staff are being reminded to always check the colour of the gel.
Head of the Infectious Diseases Unit of the Central Adelaide Local Health Network Dr David Shaw has issued an urgent memo to staff about the contaminated mouthwash following several cases of infections.
He noted the organism Burkholderia cepacia “rarely causes infection in healthy people but can be a pathogenic organism for immunocompromised people, i.e. cystic fibrosis.”
He said it is found in aquatic environments and is a frequent contaminant of fluids used in the hospitals such as intravenous solutions, irrigation solutions, sinks and drains.
However, its discovery in a mouth wash has triggered an urgent recall by hospital staff of the product.
Hospital staff have been ordered to remove all Chlorofluor Gel mouthwash packs and retain them for collection.