Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE) - Precautions

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Have you taken care of someone with a VRE infection? Please share your caregiving tips for practicing good hygiene.

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What precautions should people take when tending to someone with a vancomycin-resistant enterococcal (VRE) infection?

Caretakers of infected patients should follow good hand hygiene principles. This means washing hands or using alcohol disinfectants on hands before and after touching the patient or objects in the patient's environment. If there is visible soiling of the hands, soap and water should be used rather than alcohol-based disinfectants. If the patient is incontinent of stool or urine, gloves may be used to help clean the bed or the patient. Gloves are not a substitute for hand hygiene. Simple household disinfectants are effective against VRE and can be used to clean the environment. A 10% bleach solution may also be used.

Hospitals will take additional precautions. Once a patient is known to harbor VRE, whether colonized or infected, the patient will be placed in "contact precautions," usually in a private room. People entering the room will wear a cloth or paper gown over their clothes and use gloves. Again, hand hygiene is critical to reduce spread of the organism.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Nguyen, 75 or over Male (Caregiver) Published: July 22

I am currently taking care of my father in law who has been recently confirmed positive with VRE infection. He is very weak and feeling nauseated and throws up one or twice a day. Over the last three days he lost his appetite and turned away his meals. I am aware the infection is direct from contact to the infected surface and direct person to person, so I always wear gloves and use antibacterial hand wash after taking care of my father. He also experienced constipation and vomited after each time drinking water or just having a little bit of food.

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