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Vancomycin is an antibiotic used to treat certain infections, including those caused by most strains of Enterococcus. Enterococci are bacteria found normally in the intestinal tract. When Vancomycin is unable to kill these bacteria, the bacteria are called Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus (VRE).

VRE survive on hard surfaces for 7-10 days and on hands for hours. It usually doesn’t pose a risk to healthy people, but it can cause infection in those who are sick.

Spreading VRE
VRE is mainly spread by contact with unwashed hands or dirty gloves. Handling bedpans, toilet rims, or other items that have been contaminated with VRE can also spread it. It is mainly spread through the fecal/oral route. It is not passed through the air.  

The people most likely to get VRE have been in a hospital or a long-term care home.
Practicing good hand hygiene is the best way to stop the spread of VRE.

Staying at the hospital with VRE

Because hospitals are filled with people who are sick and more likely to develop an infection, special precautions are needed to prevent the spread of VRE. 
  • You will have a private room and the people who visit or provide your care will be wearing a gown and gloves
  • There will be a sign placed outside your door indicating what your caregivers/visitors will need to do
  • The supplies / equipment used in your care will be left in your room 
  • You will be taught how to wash your hands with a hand sanitizer
  • You must wash your hands with soap and water after using the toilet 
  • Avoid touching open sores
  • It is very important for all staff and visitors to carefully remove their gowns and gloves and perform hand hygiene when they leave your room
  • Your room will be specially cleaned twice daily
  • If you need to go to another part of the hospital for tests or treatment, you must use the hand sanitizer before leaving your room and put on a fresh clean patient gown
HHCC regularly monitors and reviews infection rates and uses this information to execute best practice protective measures and continually improve patient care and safety. 

Access our VRE infection rates