Australia Vic, Tas homes criticised over flu deaths

14:08  14 november  2017
14:08  14 november  2017 Source:   MSN

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Two regional aged care homes in Victoria and Tasmania have been criticised over how they handled a deadly influenza outbreak that claimed more than Tasmania reported 21 deaths across its nursing homes , of which six were at the Strathdevon facility. "The flu season affected aged care residents

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Two regional aged care homes in Victoria and Tasmania have been criticised for failing to provide appropriate care and prevent the spread of a deadly influenza outbreak that claimed more than 100 lives.

A federal government review found low staff vaccination rates and poor management at St John's Retirement Village in Wangaratta and Uniting AgeWell Strathdevon in Tasmania during the influenza outbreak in August and September.

This year's horror flu season claimed the lives of 121 aged care residents in Victoria, including 10 at St John's. Tasmania reported 21 deaths across its nursing homes, of which six were at the Strathdevon facility.

"The flu season affected aged care residents and staff and the homes' infection control and contingency plans were overwhelmed but it was unacceptable," Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said in a statement on Monday.

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"These review audits reveal management errors, especially in infection control at the two sites."

A man receiving a flu immunisation shot © Provided by AAP A man receiving a flu immunisation shot Australian Aged Care Quality Agency found only one third of staff at the two facilities were vaccinated before the outbreak.

At Uniting AgeWell Strathdevon, 27 of 76 staff were vaccinated. During the outbreak, 29 staff and 31 residents contracted the flu.

The audit found management at Strathdevon did not consistently follow infection control guidelines, and junior staff did not know what to do in the absence of senior staff who contracted the illness.

Staff at the Strathdevon facility also had insufficient personal protective equipment for infection control.

At St John's Retirement Village, management failed to identify and contain the influenza outbreak, the audit found.

St John's also did not provide appropriate clinical care for several residents who contracted influenza; three patients who died were not referred to a medical officer when they first became sick.

Both St John's and Uniting AgeWell were also criticised by family members for not telling them about the outbreak.

One person said they believed Uniting AgeWell's poor handling of the outbreak resulted in their loved one dying.

Another said they only found out about the outbreak when their relative was taken to hospital.

One family member said they received a letter about the outbreak at St John's after their relative died.

The federal aged care minister says the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency is reviewing its infection control practices.

A mandatory survey of aged care staff vaccination rates and outbreak management is due to be completed by the end of November.

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Source: http://au.pressfrom.com/news/australia/-46590-vic-tas-homes-criticised-over-flu-deaths/

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