C. difficile Care At Home

cleaning-supplies

C.diff infection treated in home environment

Laundry:
While combating C. diff at home, it is recommended that soiled linens be handled as little as possible to prevent microbial contamination of persons handling the linen. Heavily soiled linens should be laundered separately and not with other clothing or other linens. Satisfactory Laundering has been achieved in “hot” water temperatures cycles in home washers while utilizing chlorine bleach (amount varies with manufacturer and water capacity in each washer) and laundry soap.

Hand-washing with soap and warm water over 20 seconds, scrubbing between fingers, and tops of hands, rinsing with fingers pointed downward, using a dry, clean towel to dry both hands and a dry towel to turn off the sink faucets. This hand-washing process demonstrates the greatest efficiency in removing Clostridium difficile (C Diff) spores and should be performed preferentially over the use of alcohol-based hand rubs when contact with C Diff is suspected or likely. The recommended length of time to wash hands is a minimum of 20 to 30 seconds. Singing one rendition of Happy Birthday usually suffices the time suggested to achieve good hand-washing results.
* 70% isopropyl showed NO inactivation of C. difficile spores at exposure times of 5m, 15m, and 30m.

Cleaning a Home Environment:
What needs to be cleaned at home using EPA approved germicide for routine cleaning? All hard surfaces, which include the bedside commode (if applicable), bed-rails (if applicable), All Bathroom sinks, floors, tub/showers, toilets, doorknobs, light switch plates, shower doors. Frequently touched or high-touch surfaces including computer touch-pads, monitor cables, monitors, Kitchen appliances (i.e., Refrigerator handles, oven handles) sinks, counter-tops, floors and any/all medical equipment being utilized (i.e., walker, wheelchair, IV poles/pumps).
Clean all items that are shared between individuals (i.e., glucose meters, thermometers, b/p cuffs, stethoscopes). *It is best to use disposal wipes, paper towels, or cleaning clothes that can be washed in hot bleach water after cleaning, sponges are not recommended. The dirty cloth should not return to a clean bucket of solution and buckets/containers should be washed and disinfected after each use.

Home Restrooms:  To also help prevent spreading C. diff. spores and to prevent reinfection: Restrooms –  remove  fabric shower curtains – replace with a plain plastic/vinyl shower liner one that will be able to be cleaned with a bleach product. Remove towels hanging on hooks, or stacked near the commode.   Store toothbrushes, personal grooming items, and towels in a cabinet, linen closet, in zip-lock plastic bags, or under the vanity sink is a safer location. Remove bath mat/rug or launder daily in hot water with bleach added (color fabrics may fade due to bleach – read manufacturer labels). Cleaning with disposable towels is beneficial. CDC Recommendation is Utilizing Bleach/Water 1:10 ratio:  1 cup of Bleach + 9 cups of water made fresh daily and keeping surfaces wet with solution for ten minutes. Or there is the option to purchase EPA Registered product such as Clorox (TM) Germicidal Solution or wipes to clean hard non-porous surfaces and leaving surfaces wet for up to five minutes to kill C. diff. spores. Environmental safety is a sure way to prevent spreading the C. diff. spores and/or  reinfecting the patient

Hospital Visits:
While visiting a loved one in the hospital, wearing a gown and gloves is very important. Clostridium difficile (C diff) spores will spread throughout areas easily and by complying with hospital policies you will keep your family member, friend, yourself, and others safe. Please wash your hands after removing gloves before leaving the room you are visiting, and please wash your hands upon re-entering before new gloves and gown are worn.

ALL “TOUCHABLE (HAND CONTACT)” SURFACES SHOULD BE WIPED
with cleaning agent containing Chlorine Bleach. The CDC cleaning ratio 1:10 solution; 1 cup bleach to 9 cups of water and used on non-porous surfaces over ten minutes and mixed fresh daily for effective cleaning solution OR with a EPA Registered Sporicide/Disinfectant (i.e., Steriplex SD, Clorox Germicidal).

Question: Do Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes contain bleach? NO
Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes, purchased at local markets, are made with a bleach-free formula that’s available in Fresh Scent, Lemon Fresh, Kitchen and Lavender scents so they leave a light, clean scent every time you wipe off a surface. * The “Disinfecting” wipes by Clorox will NOT kill C Diff Spores *
The Clorox Germicidal Wipes and Solution DO have the EPA Registered C Diff Kill.
Clorox Solution has been located and sold through Lowe’s Home Improvement Centers. Check with local stores for this product.

What do I need to do when I go home from the hospital?
Once you are back at home, you can return to your normal daily routine.
Often, the diarrhea will be better or completely gone before returning to home. This makes giving
C. diff to other people much less likely. There are a few things you should do, however, to lower the
chances of developing C. diff infection again or of spreading it to others.
• If you are given a prescription to treat C. diff, take the medicine
exactly as prescribed by your doctor and pharmacist. Do not take half-doses or stop before you run out.
• Hand-washing remains #1 prevention: Take frequent 20 second hand-washing breaks during the day, especially after visiting the bathroom, before and after preparing food, after visiting stores, after visiting the gym, before and after eating, after traveling on public transportation, and often.
Cleaning with a chlorine bleach cleanser will help kill C Diff spores in the home environment.


* If any C. diff symptoms (diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramping) are noticed, please contact the primary physician, healthcare professional and/or seek medical attention at the local clinic/emergency department for assessment and C. difficile stool testing.

 

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