Category Archives: C. diff. prevention

Natural Ways to Keep Ticks Away From You and Your Pets

Tick Season has arrived and is in full-swing.

There are natural ways to keep the ticks away and decrease their existence.  This will help both you and your pets and decrease the risks in having a tick bite and acquiring Lyme Disease

It is recommended to keep the weeds down.  Ticks live in tall grass, weedy areas and in shrubs where they can easily hitch a ride on pets and people as they brush past. You can prevent ticks in your yard simply by keeping it well mowed. In your gardens, keep the weeds down as much as possible and maintain plenty of space between shrubs and perennials. This helps cut down on the number of places for ticks to hide, and it also makes it easier for your pets to walk through the gardens without brushing against the plants.

It’s a good time for the long-haired pets to try a shorter-summer haircut.  Ticks are a bigger problem for cats and dogs with long hair because all that fluff makes it easier for ticks to hitch a ride and hide. Consider giving your dog a short summer clip (but not too short because it protects them from sunburn). If you’d rather not trim a long-haired cat for the summer, your best bet may be to keep the kitty indoors or give them a confined outdoor area away from high grass and weedy spots. Be certain to do a thorough tick check before heading inside.

Try a Lint Roller.  After going for a walk in the woods, use a tape-style lint roller on your slacks, socks, sleeved shirts, jackets, and if there is a fellow-walker or group together — take turns rolling the lint roller across the clothing of each other to remove any hidden ticks and us the lint roller on your dog to pick up any ticks that have decided to hitch a ride

Add Food-Grade DE to the Gardens.   You can maintain plenty of space and weed regularly, and still there may be a few ticks hiding in your flowers and shrubs. You can protect your pets by using food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE) in the gardens. Because it dehydrates insects, this is an effective solution against ticks, fleas, and other pests.   Diatomaceous earth (sometimes to referred to simply as DE) is one of those handy substances that has all kinds of uses around the home and garden. It is mainly used for pest control, effective at killing everything from fleas and roaches indoors to aphids and slugs outdoors.  What is Diatomaceous Earth?   It’s useful, but what is it, exactly?   The short answer is fossils! Diatomaceous earth (pronounced “dia-toMAY-shus” earth) is ground fossilized remains of a type of phytoplankton called diatoms, which have existed on earth for millions of years. Of course, to look at diatomaceous earth, it doesn’t look like fossils and it is more of an off-white powder that looks similar to talc and has no odor.  Contact a local home-improvement garden center for more information.

Frequent Tick Checks.  Despite your best efforts, ticks will find their way onto you and your pets. To prevent tick bites, inspect yourself, your children, and family members along with your pets each day, and preferably each time you have all come in from the outside. With the pets: pay special attention to areas that your pet can’t easily reach such as around the head, behind the ears, and underneath their legs. Smaller deer ticks even hang out on eyelids. It’s a good habit to get into and try to be thorough.  If a tick is located contact a health care provider and for the pets contact their veterinarian to discuss tick removal and treatments.

Preventing Lyme Disease = Preventing Antibiotic Therapy = C.difficile Prevention and MORE.

Working together to prevent pain and suffering in both individuals and our pets. 

May Is National Walking Month and Time For the Annual Global C.diff. (CDI) Awareness 2K Walk

With its fresh Spring mornings and lovely long evenings – not to mention an extra long weekend – it’s no wonder that May is the official National Walking Month. Whether you prefer leisurely strolls or challenging hikes, our four park surroundings have a  walk for everyone to raise awareness of C.diff., walk for a cause in all locations.   Lace up your walking shoes and venture out to Milton A. Votee Park, Teaneck, N.J., Charlestown Township Park, Phoenixville, PA., Sims Park, New Port Richey, FL.,  on Saturday, May 18th to experience one of  these 3 C.diff. Awareness 2k walks.

 

Registration is open until May 8th.   3rd Annual Global C.diff. Awareness 2K Walks.

The USA events will take place on Saturday, May 18, 2019 from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

 

2019 CDIFF Global Awareness Walk

Dr. Martha Cloakie, PhD will be leading the walk in Leicester, U.K. on Friday, May 17, 2019.

All registered awareness walkers will receive t-shirts, giveaways, and educational material while introducing the communities to the resources available. C.diff. infections are one of the leading healthcare-associated infections facing local communities.

Registration is $20.00 per walker and children 10 years of age and under walk free. https://cdifffoundation.org/3rdannualwalk/

Proceeds from the events will benefit the C Diff Foundation’s mission educating and advocating for C.difficile infection prevention, treatments, clinical trials,  environmental safety, sepsis, and antibiotic awareness worldwide.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a Clostridioides difficile infection (C.difficile), (formally known as Clostridium difficile) “has become the most common microbial cause of healthcare-associated infections in U.S. hospitals and costs up to $4.8 billion each year in excess health care costs for acute care facilities alone.”

Statistics provided by the CDC suggest that C. difficile cause nearly 500,000 infections in patients in the U.S. annually. In one study noted by the CDC, among infected patients, nearly 29,000 died within 30 days of being diagnosed, and more than half of those deaths (15,000) were directly attributable to a C. difficile infection.

We sincerely thank Vedanta Biosciences, Inc. for being the Diamond Sponsor of the 3rd Annual Global C.diff. Awareness 2K Walks. Vedanta Biosciences, Inc. is dedicated to finding treatments for patients with serious infections and immune diseases. Vedanta develops medicines made of consortia of bacterial strains which are selected to effect robust and durable changes in a patient’s gut microbiota. In contrast to fecal transplants or administration of fecal fractions, Vedanta’s medicines are pure, uniform compositions of bacteria manufactured from clonal cell banks, bypassing the need to rely on direct sourcing of fecal donor material of inconsistent composition. Vedanta is currently enrolling patients with recurrent C. difficile infections (CDI) in its CONSORTIUM study to evaluate VE303, an investigational treatment for CDI.

Our gratitude to all of the sponsors for their support and partnering with the C Diff Foundation in raising C. diff. awareness worldwide:

Gold Sponsors:    Rebiotix, Pfizer, Ferring Pharmaceutical

Silver Sponsor:    CutisPharma

Bronze Sponsor: Finch Therapeutics

If you have any questions,  please contact one of our staff members at

(727) – 205 – 3922  or e-mail:  info@cdifffoundation.org

We look forward to walking with you on May 18th!

Follow Us On Twitter:   #CdiffWalks2019

Patient Safety Is Jeopardized by Unnecessary Antibiotics

Like any medication, antibiotics carry certain risks. While they are critical to treating a wide range of conditions, from strep throat and urinary tract infections to bacterial pneumonia and sepsis, these drugs also increase a patient’s chances of developing Clostridium difficile infections—which can result in life-threatening diarrhea—and can lead to adverse drug events, including allergic reactions.

Because of these dangers, it is important to use antibiotics only when needed. However, many antibiotics prescribed in the United States are unnecessary.

See what the research tells us and what leading antibiotic use experts say about inappropriate prescribing, the threat it poses to patient health, and how improved antibiotic stewardship can help to protect patient safety.

Improving Outpatient Antibiotic Use: The Role of Pediatricians

“For a long time, we believed that ‘erring on the safe side’ for our patients might be to prescribe an antibiotic just in case, even when we weren’t completely certain of the diagnosis. … Increasingly, we’re realizing that ‘being on the safe side’ often means not prescribing an antibiotic.”

Adam Hersh, M.D., University of Utah, Primary Children’s Hospital

 

Improving Outpatient Antibiotic Use: The Role of Emergency Room Doctors

“Acute bronchitis is one of the very common conditions we see in the emergency department and it’s also one … for which we have the best evidence that antibiotics should not be used, as these infections are typically caused by viruses and will resolve on their own. … I’ve seen … patients that received antibiotics for simple bronchitis or sinusitis that probably didn’t need the antibiotic, and then came in with life-threatening diarrheal illness, known as C. difficile infection.”

Larissa May, M.D., University of California, Davis

 

Improving Outpatient Antibiotic Use: The Role of Pharmacists

“I’ve had patients with antibiotic-associated adverse drug reactions … serious ones, such as Stevens-Johnson’s syndrome and [the] development of C. difficile.”

Katie Suda, Pharm.D., M.S., University of Illinois, Chicago

 

Improving Outpatient Antibiotic Use: The Role of Primary Care Physicians

“There’s a misperception on the part of doctors that patients want antibiotics. … [There] are millions of individual visits where we’re doing the wrong thing by our patients. We’re giving them medicines that they don’t need.”

Jeff Linder, M.D., M.P.H., Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School

 

One study estimated that a 30 percent reduction in broad-spectrum antibiotic use in hospitals could result in a 26 percent reduction in hospital-associated C. difficile infections.

Improving Outpatient Antibiotic Use: The Role of Nurse Practitioners

“What is concerning is a lot of people think every sore throat is strep throat, and they want antibiotics. The reality is that most sore throats are not strep throat. It is important that we make sure that we don’t give antibiotics just for a viral sore throat. … If we continue to prescribe antibiotics inappropriately … we will get to a point where children are not responding to antibiotics. And that’s very scary.”

Teri Woo, Ph.D., National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

 

David Hyun, M.D., works on The Pew Charitable Trusts’ antibiotic resistance project.

 

To read the article in its entirety please click on the following link to be redirected:

https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/articles/2017/03/16/unnecessary-antibiotic-use-jeopardizes-patient-safety

Study Assessed Bezlotoxumab Cost Effectiveness Added To Standard of Care to Prevent rCDI In High-risk Patients From the Spanish National Health System

Abstract

Introduction

Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is the major cause of infectious nosocomial diarrhoea and is associated with considerable morbidity, mortality and economic impact. Bezlotoxumab administered in combination with standard of care (SoC) antibiotic therapy prevents recurrent CDI.

This study assessed the cost-effectiveness of bezlotoxumab added to SoC, compared to SoC alone, to prevent the recurrence of CDI in high-risk patients from the Spanish National Health System perspective.

Methods

A Markov model was used to simulate the natural history of CDI over a lifetime horizon in five populations of patients at high risk of CDI recurrence according to MODIFY trials: (1) ≥ 65 years old; (2) severe CDI; (3) immunocompromised; (4) ≥ 1 CDI episode in the previous 6 months; and (5) ≥ 65 years old and with ≥ 1 CDI episode in the previous 6 months. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) expressed as cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained was calculated. Deterministic (DSA) and probabilistic sensitivity analyses (PSA) were performed.

Results

In all patient populations (from 1 to 5), bezlotoxumab added to SoC reduced CDI recurrence compared to SoC alone by 26.4, 19.5, 21.2, 26.6 and 39.7%, respectively. The resulting ICERs for the respective subgroups were €12,724, €17,495, €9545, €7386, and €4378. The model parameters with highest impact on the ICER were recurrence rate (first), mortality, and utility values. The probability that bezlotoxumab was cost-effective at a willingness-to-pay threshold of €21,000/QALY was 85.5%, 54.1%, 86.0%, 94.5%, 99.6%, respectively.

Conclusion

The results suggest that bezlotoxumab added to SoC compared to SoC alone is a cost-effective treatment to prevent the recurrence of CDI in high-risk patients. The influence of changes in model parameters on DSA results was higher in patients  ≥ 65 years old, with severe CDI and immunocompromised. Additionally, PSA estimated that the probability of cost-effectiveness exceeded 85% in most subgroups.

To review article in its entirety, please click on the following link:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12325-018-0813-y

It Takes a Team Approach To Break the Chain of Infections and Decrease Infection Rates

Reduce the Risk to Patients, Staff and Visitors

A comprehensive approach to C. diff can break the chain of infection and help to decrease the spread of this organism throughout your hospital. There are many paths of transmission that contribute to the spread of C. diff from infected patients to the hands of healthcare workers, visitors and the environment. Progressive distribution of spores happens through multiple contacts to multiple surfaces and people. Ensure your staff is trained to identify patients exhibiting C. diff symptoms.

To guard against C. diff, follow three key environmental and hand hygiene workflows to help ensure your facility breaks the chain of infection and improves patient outcomes.

  1. Identify and Communicate Risk. Communications remains key to controlling the spread of C. diff during complex interactions and location changes in hospitals. Proper communication protocols better support the tracking and reporting of infections and prevention efforts.
  2. Assess Appropriate and Timely Environmental Hygiene. Implement a strong process to regularly audit the adequacy of room cleaning, so you know before you have an issue. Audits and processes will also help you proactively identify where your staff can improve. Stay ahead of potential outbreaks through proactive daily use of a sporicidal disinfectant with good material compatibility for daily cleaning and disinfection of surfaces.
  3. Implement Hand Hygiene Practices. Hands are the main pathways for germ transmission during healthcare. Practicing good hand hygiene is key to mitigating the spread of C. diff. The ability to accurately monitor hand hygiene in your hospital can drive positive change, decrease the risk of HAIs and improve patient outcomes. With the more stringent interpretation of the hand hygiene policy issued by the Joint Commission in January 2018, immediate citations will be issued for any single instance of a healthcare worker’s non-compliance during a patient interaction.

Transform the way your hospital assesses, communicates, tracks and reports C. diff and other HAIs to drive and sustain better patient outcomes and increase compliance. To learn how to implement these workflows into your hospital program and to gain insightful technology tips, visit www.ecolab.com/healthcareinsightscenter.

 

To read the article in its entirety please click on the following link:

http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20180703/SPONSORED/180709972

 

 

Researchers at Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital, Ann Arbor-based University of Michigan and Cambridge-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology Are Developing Institution-Specific Models That Predict Patient’s Risk Of Acquiring C.diff. Infections

Researchers at Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital, Ann Arbor-based University of Michigan and Cambridge-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology are developing hospital-specific machine learning models that predict patients’ risk of Clostridium difficile infections much sooner than current diagnostic methods allow, according to a study published in Infection Control & Epidemiology.

“Despite substantial efforts to prevent C. diff infection and to institute early treatment upon diagnosis, rates of infection continue to increase,” co-senior study author Erica Shenoy, MD, PhD, said in a press release. “We need better tools to identify the highest risk patients so that we can target both prevention and treatment interventions to reduce further transmission and improve patient outcomes.”

The study authors noted most previous approaches to C. diff  infection risk were limited in usefulness since they were not hospital-specific and were developed as “one-size-fits-all” models that only included a few risk factors.

Therefore, to predict a patient’s C. diff risk throughout the course of their hospital stay, the researchers took a “big data” approach that analyzed the entire EHR. This method allows for institution-specific models that could be tailored to different patient populations, different EHR systems and factors specific to each facility. 

“When data are simply pooled into a one-size-fits-all model, institutional differences in patient populations, hospital layouts, testing and treatment protocols, or even in the way staff interact with the EHR can lead to differences in the underlying data distributions and ultimately to poor performance of such a model,” said co-senior study author Jenna Wiens, PhD. “To mitigate these issues, we take a hospital-specific approach, training a model tailored to each institution.”

With this machine learning-based model, the researchers looked at de-identified data, which included individual patient demographics and medical history, details on admissions and daily hospitalization, and the likelihood of C. diff exposure. The data was gathered from the EHRs of roughly 257,000 patients admitted to either MGH or to Michigan Medicine over two-year and six-year periods, respectively.

The models proved to be highly successful at predicting patients who would ultimately be diagnosed with C. diff. In half of these infected patients, accurate predictions could have been made at least five days before collecting diagnostic samples, which would allow hospitals to focus on antimicrobial interventions on the highest-risk patients.

The study’s risk prediction score could guide early screening for C. diff if validated in subsequent studies. For patients who receive an earlier diagnosis, treatment initiation could curb illness severity, and patients with confirmed C. diff could be isolated to prevent transmission to other patients.

The algorithm code is freely available here for hospital leaders to review and adapt for their institutions. However, Dr. Shenoy notes facilities looking to apply similar algorithms to their own institutions must assemble the appropriate local subject-matter experts and validate the performance of the models in their institutions.

To read article in its entirety please click on the following link to be redirected:

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/quality/how-machine-learning-models-are-rapidly-predicting-c-diff-infections.html

Nick Van Hise, PharmD, BCPS Is Welcomed As Chair Of the C Diff Foundation’s Antimicrobial Stewardship and C.diff. Infection Prevention (ASCP) Committee


We are honored to have Nick Van Hise, PharmD, BCPS  Chair the C Diff Foundation’s Antimicrobial Stewardship and C. diff. Infection Prevention (ASCP) Committee and promote the Foundation’s mission worldwide.

 

Nick Van Hise, PharmD, received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University in Peoria, IL and his Doctorate of Pharmacy from Union University School of Pharmacy in Jackson, TN.

Dr. Van Hise then went on to do an infectious disease residency and become board certified in pharmacoltherapy and infectious disease.  Dr. Van Hise has been published in various scientific journals, includng the New England Journal of Medicine, Clinical Infectious Diseases, and the Journal of Clinical Neuropharmacology.

In addition, Dr. Van Hise is a Member of the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists (SIDP), American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS), and American Pharmacists Association (APhA).