Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE) is a type of bacteria that has acquired resistance to vancomycin. VRE is commonly spread by direct contact with an infected person, usually with the hands. Cleaning hands is the number one way to prevent the spread of VRE.
If you have recently been diagnosed with VRE, be sure to notify health care workers that you are VRE positive.
In the hospital
If you are diagnosed with VRE when you are in hospital:
- A contact precautions sign will be placed on your door advising health care workers and visitors of any special requirements (e.g. gloves, gowns).
- Your activities outside your room may be restricted because VRE can spread easily in hospitals. This helps us protect other patients.
- In some cases, equipment used in your daily care will remain in your room.
- Kill germs by practicing frequent hand hygiene. You will be taught how to clean your hands with soap and water and with an alcohol based hand rub. You must always clean your hands after using the toilet, before means, and anytime you leave your room.
- VRE can be more easily spread from a patient, resident, or client who has diarrhea. If you have diarrhea, wash your hands with soap and water. Staff, volunteers and visitors will also be advised to clean their hands using soap and water.
- Health care workers and visitors must clean their hands when they enter and when they leave your room. Do not be shy about reminding everyone to clean his or her hands.
- Clean hands are everyone’s responsibility.
- Please use a public toilet if you are not a patient, resident or client.
- Avoid touching any open sores.
- Do not share any personal items, including towels, washcloths, razors, soap, creams, lotions, cosmetics, toothbrushes, nail files, combs and brushes.
- Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.
- Tell anyone who treats you that you are known to have VRE.
In a residential care facility
In most situations, the spread of VRE and other bacteria can be controlled by diligent hand hygiene. Occasionally additional precautions are needed to protect others if soiling of the environment is likely.
Infection control may implement contact precautions depending on the location of the infection.