Cross-infection occurs when one person spreads an infection to another, either directly or indirectly. It can be very harmful to people with cystic fibrosis and this is why
people with CF should not meet face to face.
What is special about infection control in Cystic Fibrosis?
- An important part of staying healthy when you have Cystic Fibrosis is avoiding infection, especially of the chest. Keeping your lungs free of bacteria and avoiding new infections is linked to good lung function.
- Some bacteria have been shown to pass between people with CF. For example, some strains of pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria can spread from patient to patient and these strains tend to be more resistant to antibiotics and so harder to treat. Burkholderia cepacia complex bacteria can also spread between patients. We want to prevent people without these more aggressive strains of bacteria from getting them from other people.
What does this mean to you?
- We make sure that contact between people with CF is kept to a minimum while at York hospital. We arrange both inpatient and outpatient services so that patients are kept separate from each other, and each clinic is arranged so that people with different bacteria in their sputum come on different days.
- We make sure that people with CF do not sit together in a communal area, such as the clinic waiting area, or in the pharmacy or X-Ray departments. This is why, at outpatient clinics, you are shown straight into a separate clinic room where the whole of your clinic appointment will take place. If you are admitted into York hospital as an inpatient, you will always be in a side room.
- Staff always wash their hands and use alcohol rub between each patient. We also dispose of filters on lung function equipment and clean any equipment such as oxygen saturation monitors down after each use.
If you have any questions or concerns about cross-infection please discuss it with a member of the CF team. We’re happy to answer your questions.
Please note: the above information passage has been prepared using information from various sources including Cystic Fibrosis Trust website.