03/15/2012 01:09 EDT | Updated 05/15/2012 05:12 EDT

Report on C. difficile at Cape Breton hospital blames unit layout, hygiene

SYDNEY, N.S. - A new report says the layout of Cape Breton Regional Hospital's intermediate care unit and the failure of staff to properly wash their hands contributed to a recent outbreak of C. difficile.

The report says there were a total of six confirmed hospital cases of the bacterium during the outbreak between Dec. 21 and Feb. 3.

Two of those patients died, but the cause of death in both cases is still under review.

The report says the hospital needs to strengthen infection control practices.

Earlier in 2011, 64 patients in seven of the Cape Breton Regional Health Authority's nine hospitals were affected by an outbreak of C. difficile that lasted several months.

A report on that outbreak by the Public Health Agency of Canada made a number of recommendations ranging from hospital renovations to reducing patient transfers.