In our blog on Oct. 28, we reported that in September of 2010 the Pennsylvania Department of Health was notified of a life-threatening group A streptococcus (GAS) breakout that had occurred in a Pennsylvania skilled nursing facility. The report did not name the facility, but it did describe it as having 150 beds, specializing in ventilator weaning, spinal-cord injury care, and short-term rehabilitation. Now an article on Philly.com has identified the facility as AristaCare at Meadow Springs in Plymouth Meeting, the only nursing facility in Montgomery Count that matches the report’s description.
According to the article, Rhea Goodwin, administrator of AristaCare at Meadow Springs, confirmed that her facility had an outbreak of strep. However, she said there was no “direct link” between the bacteria and the deaths of 2 patients.
The CDC’s Mobidity and Mortality Weekly Report said that between Oct. 12, 2009, and Sept. 22, 2010, 13 residents had invasive strep and two died. Ten residents had noninvasive strep infections.
The report said the facility had “multiple infection preventions deficiencies” including ineffective staff “hand-hygiene practices.” To combat GAS, the CDC recommends good hand washing habits, especially after coughing and sneezing and before preparing foods or eating.