Antibiotic Resistance – It’s Everybody’s Business
As the incidence of Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infection spirals, physicians should emphasize the importance of antibiotic stewardship.
A study published in the journal affiliated with the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) summarized a recent NFID webinar by Carolyn V. Gould, MD, and L. Clifford McDonald, MD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Thomas M. File, Jr., MD, Editor-in-Chief, Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice.
While C. diff is mainly a significant hospital-acquired infection, recently approximately 5% of C. diff cases are diagnosed outside hospitals.
Since prior antibiotic treatment is the primary risk factor for C. diff, antibiotic stewardship is considered a key factor in controlling significant spikes in incidences.
Antibiotics are capable of disrupting intestinal balance, thereby creating the opportunity for C. diff spores to produce diarrhea-causing toxins.
According to the CDC, there are six essential methods to consider for C. diff prevention:
· Careful prescribing and use of antibiotics
· Early and reliable diagnosis
· Immediate isolation of infected patients
· Contact precautions – wearing gloves and gowns for all contact with the patient and patient-care environment
· Adequately cleaning patient care environments; using an EPA-registered C. diff sporicidal disinfectant
· Effective communication about C. diff status when patients are transferred between healthcare facilities
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