Beginning November 1st, join the C Diff Foundation in “Raising C. diff. Awareness Week.”
Let’s begin promoting C. difficile prevention and begin witnessing a decrease in newly diagnosed C. difficile infections worldwide.
HAND-WASHING remains the number one prevention. Follow the hand washing procedures to ensure proper and effective technique:
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
When is it a good time to wash hands?
Before, during, and after preparing food, Before eating food,Before and after patient care, Before and after treating a cut or wound, Before exiting a restroom, After a diaper change, After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, After petting a pet or any livestock animals, After touching garbage, AND OFTEN.
The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention recommends infection control protocols be shared between healthcare professionals and long-term facility administrators for the safety of the patient, visitors, and other patient’s safety.
Question the necessity of antibiotics to treat symptoms. Unnecessary use of antibiotics raises the risk of acquiring a C. difficile infection. Remember antibiotics do not effect viruses. Healthcare professionals; confirming a bacterial infection before prescribing antibiotic course of treatment is advised.
Testing: When a patient presents symptoms (diarrhea with abdominal cramping/pain, fatigue, fever) ordering a C. difficile stool test to rule out a C. diff. infection is beneficial, especially if the patient has been treated with antibiotics within ninety-days.
Environmental Safety: Disinfecting a patient’s room, treated for a positive C. difficile infection, with a bleach or Federal EPA registered spore-killing product will help eliminate C. difficile spores from being spread to another patient’s room. Environmental safety is also an important matter in home-care. Cleaning all high-touch areas in both long-term and acute care facilities, and home environments will help decrease the spread of this infection. (High-touch surfaces: light switches, door knobs/handles, bed-side commodes, bathroom hand rails, commode, sink and sink handles, counter-tops, floors, bath-tubs, showers, canes, wheel-chairs, and all medical equipment in a patient’s room).
Person Protection: Visitors and Environmental professionals, wear proper personal protection equipment when treating and cleaning areas/rooms of a C. difficile patient. (gloves, gowns, shoe coverings, protective eye wear if using using spray solutions).
Patient Isolation: Protect the patient and others by keeping a C. difficile patient in isolation in long-term and acute care facilities. This will prevent the spread of infection to others and other areas within the facilities.
Communication: If a patient is being transferred from either a long-term or acute care facility, communicate to the facility intake personnel the patient’s C. diff. infection and necessary infection control protocols to be implemented for the patient and other patient’s safety.
The CDC has been sharing public announcements regarding the use of Antibiotics for both healthcare professionals and patients alike. Colds, Ear and Sinus symptoms may be caused by a virus, not bacteria. Taking antibiotics to treat a virus makes antibiotic medications less effective when they are needed while raising the risk of acquiring a C. difficile infection. Limit the use of Antibiotics to reduce the risk of acquiring a C. difficile infection (Bacterial infections and the treatment of symptoms will be determined and should be followed by the treating healthcare professionals). * November 17-23rd, 2014 join the CDC’s Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work campaign.
None of us can do this alone…..all of us can do this TOGETHER!
For additional C. difficile information, review the archives and categories available on the website : http://www.cdifffoundation.org
Sources: CDC, C Diff Foundation Chairperson Infection Control