C. diff. Awareness Across the Globe

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Beginning November 1st,

join the C Diff Foundation in

“Raising C. diff.  Awareness.”

Let’s begin with promoting C. difficile prevention to share in witnessing a decrease in C. difficile infections worldwide.

Ways to PREVENT acquiring a C. diff. infection:

HAND-WASHING remains the #1 course of action in infection prevention.

Knowing how and when to wash hands is also important.

Correct Hand-washing steps to follow:

  • 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 30 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well with water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel.
  • Turn off faucets with a clean dry towel, and wipe hands with a clean dry towel.

WHEN is it a good time to wash hands?

  • Before, during, and after handling and preparing food.
  • Upon Entering a Patient’s room and Before Existing a Patient’s room.
  • Before and after eating.
  • Before and after patient care.
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound.
  • Before  exiting a restroom.
  • After changing diapers.
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • After petting a pet or any livestock animals.
  • After touching garbage.
  • AND OFTEN.

Limit Antibiotic Use — Discuss Symptoms With Healthcare Providers.

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.

Take the Antibiotic “Resistance Fighter” Pledge

How to be a resistance fighter:  Limit the use of Antibiotics! Understand that antibiotics are only effective against bacteria and not viruses: colds, flu and most coughs are caused by viruses and will get better on their own.  Treat your flu and cold symptoms and let your immune system fight the virus.  Antibiotics will not help you get better quickly, and may give you side effects such as diarrhea and thrush. They can also lead to acquired C. diff. infections. They won’t stop your virus spreading to other people only YOU can do that with good hand hygiene.  Don’t ask for antibiotics , instead ask your doctor about the best way to treat your symptoms.   If you are prescribed antibiotics ask your doctor about the risks and benefits and always take them exactly as prescribed. Never take someone else’s antibiotics, always speak with your Primary Care Physician (PCP) or healthcare professional when symptoms linger or worsen.

Let us all take the “Resistance Fighter” Pledge and feel free to share the pledge with            everyone you know

I will not expect antibiotics for colds and flu as they have no effect on viruses.
I will take antibiotics as directed IF I am prescribed them, and not ask for them.
I will practice good hygiene, making hand washing #1, and help stop giving germs a free ride.

Now we can ALL spread knowledge, not infections and encourage others to join the fight against antibiotic resistance.

“Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work” CDC Campaign :

Get Smart About Antibiotics Week has been an annual effort to coordinate the work of CDC’s Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work campaign, state-based appropriate antibiotic use campaigns, non-profit partners, and for-profit partners during a one week observance of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic use. The campaign organized its first annual Get Smart About Antibiotics Week in 2008. CDC’s Get Smart campaign, housed in the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, collaborated with state-based appropriate antibiotic use campaigns and non-profit and for-profit partners. The success of the pilot year was measured by 1) dissemination of educational materials and messages, 2) partner satisfaction, and 3) media interest. A robust evaluation of the pilot week determined that each of these goals was met and exceeded. This was followed by other successful Get Smart About Antibiotics Week observances.

During November 14-20th, 2016 —  the Annual Get Smart About Antibiotics Week will be observed. As in past years, the effort will coordinate work of CDC’s Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work campaign, state-based appropriate antibiotic use campaigns, non-profit partners, and for-profit partners during a one week observance of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic use. As with the past observances, messages and resources for improving antibiotic use in  healthcare settings from CDC’s Get Smart for Healthcare campaign will be included. Get Smart for Healthcare is a program housed in CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases.

  • Ask your physician questions such as, “Do I really need an antibiotic?”
  • Bacteria only, not viruses (common cold, flu), can be killed by antibiotics.
  • Complete the entire course of prescribed antibiotics, even if you feel better midway through.

Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacterial changes reduce or eliminate an antibiotic’s ability to kill the bacteria.

The Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC)  recommends the following:

  • Take antibiotics only and exactly as instructed by your healthcare provider.
  • Only take antibiotics prescribed for you.
  • Do not save or share antibiotics prescribed to you.
  • Do not pressure your healthcare provider to prescribe you antibiotics.

C. diff. 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).

Personal Protection: ISOLATION: 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:  Contact Precautions: 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 Infection Prevention categories available on the website :   http://www.cdifffoundation.org

 

 

 

Sources: CDC