G_IPC_33 Management of Viral Gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis caused by viruses (usually small round structured viruses - SRSVs (Norovirus) (Norovirus), most common is Norovirus) is common in the community, particularly in the winter months. It is difficult to prevent it from being introduced into hospitals and care facilities and it can have a significant impact on patient care as both patients and staff may be affected. However, simple control measures as detailed below can greatly reduce its impact.

Aim of this guideline

The aim of the guideline is to ensure that a co-ordinated approach to the managing of a potential / actual outbreak of viral D&V is undertaken by:

  • Promptly identifying and managing the infection outbreak
  • Quickly identifying the source, method of spread and causative organisms responsible for the outbreak.
  • Reducing the spread of the organism.
  • Ensuring all individuals, departments and any outside agencies likely to be involved in an outbreak have a clear understanding of their roles and are fully briefed.
  • Reduce the risk for further recurrence of the infection.

The principles contained within the guideline reflects best practices and applies to those members of staff who are directly employed by Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust and for whom the Trust has legal responsibility. It provides advice on the working practices which may be required when managing an enhanced activity/ outbreak relating to diarrhoeal and vomiting infection. It may be adopted locally by other care providers.

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