10/03/2012 12:13 EDT | Updated 12/03/2012 05:12 EST

Health authority in Cape Breton says hospital hygiene improved after report

SYDNEY, N.S. - A progress report issued by the Cape Breton District Health Authority says its hospitals have so far complied with 11 of 20 recommendations made on infection control.

Nova Scotia's auditor general issued the recommendations following deadly outbreaks of C. difficile last year at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital in Sydney and at the hospital in Glace Bay last year.

The health authority says four patients died due to the illness in the first outbreak, and one death occurred during the second outbreak.

In his report, Jacques Lapointe said the outbreaks may have been avoided if staff had used proper cleaning methods to prevent the spread of infections.

In its progress report, the health authority says it has updated and improved its hygiene and sterilization training and procedures.

The health board says it has also implemented a hand hygiene database to help track staff hygiene compliance.

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