Enterococcus is a bacteria which is carried harmlessly in the gut. GRE is one type of Enterococcus which is resistant to the Glycopeptide (vancomycin, teicoplanin) type of antibiotics.
Patient information leaflets available:
How did I get GRE?
You may have had it in your gut before you came into hospital but is more often acquired whilst in hospital. Most commonly it is spread on the hands. If hands come into contact with GRE and are not washed thoroughly before touching someone else, GRE bacteria can be passed to the next person.
Will it affect me?
You can have GRE in your gut without being aware of it, or being affected in any way. So it may not affect you physically at all. However in some people it can cause an infection.
What will happen to me now?
Your treatment in hospital won’t be affected by having GRE. But whilst you are in hospital you may be given a single room or be cared for in a specific area of the ward with other patients who may also have GRE.
Staff will wear gloves and aprons when giving care. All staff and visitors entering your room will need to wash their hands or use the alcohol hand rub before leaving.
Your room will be cleaned thoroughly every day. Housekeeping staff who clean your room will also wear gloves and an apron.
Otherwise your treatment in hospital will carry on as usual. You can go for any tests, physiotherapy or occupational therapy that you may need in other departments. Your meals will also be served as usual.
How do you know I have GRE?
A specimen was sent to the Microbiology laboratory for testing which has shown GRE.
How is GRE treated?
Treatment is not necessary in most cases. However, if required, your doctor will discuss this with you.
Can I do anything to help GRE clear?
Sometimes, GRE may clear or go away on its own although occasionally it can persist in your gut for long periods. There are no known methods that will specifically clear it from your gut.
Will the treatment of my original condition be affected?
It is most unlikely but you should discuss this with your doctor.
Are my visitors at risk of GRE?
NO. GRE does not normally affect healthy people. Your visitors should thoroughly wash and dry their hands before leaving your room. It is quite safe for pregnant women and children to visit you.
Will it delay my going home?
No, it should not. If you are going into a nursing or residential home, you may have a single room, you will be able to mix freely with other residents.
What happens if I am admitted to hospital again in the future?
You may be given a single room and swabs taken from your rectum and any wounds and sent to the laboratory. If these swabs are found to be clear you may be moved into the general ward where you can mix freely with other patients.