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  • VRE Questions and Answers

  • Why do I have to be in isolation?

    • At Rhode Island Hospital, we place patients in isolation to stop the spread of VRE from one patient to another patient. All hospital staff must wear gowns and gloves when they enter your room so they will not get VRE on their clothes or hands. All persons who enter your room must wash their hands before entering and upon leaving. All equipment that is used for your care must stay in your room or be cleaned before it is taken out and used on another patient. Regular linens and dishes are used because dishes and linen from all patients are cleaned in a way that will destroy VRE.

    How long must I stay in isolation?

    • The Department of Epidemiology and Infection Control will determine how long you must remain in isolation. Usually patients may leave isolation after having three tests, over a period of time, that show you no longer carry VRE.

    Can I leave my room?

    • You may leave your room for testing. If the doctor allows you to leave your bed, you may walk in the hall if you wash your hands with soap and water or use alcohol gel before you leave the room and you wear a clean gown. Please do not sit in the lounge or waiting areas.

    May I have visitors?

    • Your family and friends may visit. Your visitors have the option of wearing gowns and gloves, but they may not leave your room while wearing them. Visitors may not use your bathroom. Before they leave, visitors must leave their gowns and gloves in your room and wash their hands with soap and water or use alcohol hand gel.

    Can I go home if I have VRE?

    • You can go home if you have VRE. People who are at risk of getting sick from VRE are patients who are ill with other diseases, have some type of medical device (tubes, drains) or those who have had recent surgery. Any or all of these factors make them more likely to get infections. Proper hand washing and good personal hygiene are the best ways to prevent the spread of VRE. Wash your hands after using the bathroom, before you eat and before and after you handle any bandages or tubes. Clean and disinfect your home often, especially the bathroom. Avoid sharing personal items such as towels, washcloths, razors and clothing.