As many people in the healthcare and infectious disease industry are aware,
Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infections remain a significant problem
in the United States. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that about 250,000 C. difficile infections occur per year that require hospital treatment or affect those already hospitalized. On top of that, each year an estimated 14,000 people die
from C. difficile infection.
The severity of this problem is one reason why I am proud to join the C Diff Foundation’s Medical Advisory Board. The C Diff Foundation is dedicated in educating and advocating for C. difficile infection prevention, treatments, environmental safety products, and support worldwide while providing support for those affected by a
C. difficile infection , raiseis awareness about the problem and works to help healthcare
providers, facilities, patients and their families implement preventative measures worldwide.
Please join me and the C Diff Foundation in celebrating the 4th annual worldwide month long campaign “Raising C. difficile Awareness ” starting Nov. 1st to increase awareness of this life-threatening infection, and spread the word about C. difficile prevention, treatment and environmental safety.
C. difficile infections are preventable, so healthcare facilities need to focus on the following strategies (adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to help protect their patients, staff and visitors from infection:
C. difficile Prevention Tips:
- Antibiotic Stewardship – Prescribe and use antibiotics carefully. Unnecessary use can raise infection risks.
- Test – If a patient has diarrhea while on antibiotics or after taking them, order a C. difficile test right away to confirm whether he/she is infected.
- Isolation Precautions – Immediately isolate patients with confirmed
cases of C. difficile or who are exhibiting symptoms (e.g., diarrhea).
- Personal Protective Equipment – Always perform hand hygiene with soap and water before and after contact with infected individuals. Wear gloves and gowns when treating C. difficile patients and ensure that staff uses them properly to avoid cross-contamination risks.
- Environmental Decontamination – Clean the facility, especially rooms of patients with C. difficile, with bleach or another EPA-registered spore-killing disinfectant. Make sure you follow manufacturers’ instructions for dilution and contact time, the length of time the surface needs to remain wet for the product to work. Also consider supplementing standard terminal cleaning with an ultraviolet (UV-C) system.
- Alert – If a patient with C. difficile transfers, notify the new facility of their condition so they can take the proper precautionary measures.
To download a free infographic poster on preventing C. difficile facility wide, visit: http://www.cloroxprofessional.com/industry/health/knowledge-expertise/cdiffinfographic/