The C Diff Foundation Volunteer Patient Advocates; Heather Clark and
her sister, Kimberly Reilly participated at local events over the summer season to educate and advocate
for C. diff. infection prevention, treatments, and environmental safety within the local communities raising C. diff. awareness and saving lives.
On behalf of the C Diff Foundation , we sincerely thank you Heather and Kimberly for your dedication, your time, and for joining the
C Diff Foundation partnering and sharing our global mission.
We are truly grateful to the many special Volunteer Patient Advocates, the special individuals donating their time in “Raising C. diff. Awareness within their communities” around the globe. Thank You!
Heather and Kimberly lost their dear Father from C.diff. involvement. Shortly after his passing, Heather and Kimberly took a stand with the C Diff Foundation and dedicated their time and efforts in “Raising C. diff. Awareness” to help educate, and advocate for this life-threatening infection that played a big part in their Father’s passing.
To listen to Heather’s journey, with fellow C. diff. survivors, – please click on the podcast link below:
“What is C. diff.?”
Clostridium difficile (C.diff.) is gram-positive, anaerobic, and a spore, rod/spindle-shape,
a common bacterium of the human intestine in 2 – 5%. C diff. becomes a serious gastrointestinal infection when individuals have been exposed to antibiotic therapy, and/or have experienced a long-term hospitalization, and/or have had an extended stay in a long-term care facility. However; the risk of acquiring a C diff. infection (CDI) has increased as it is in the community (Community Acquired CDI) and found in outpatient settings.
There are significant risk factors in patients who are immunosuppressant, ones who have been on antibiotic therapy, and the elderly population.
How do Antibiotics cause C diff.? The antibiotics cause a disruption in the normal intestinal flora which leads to an over growth of C difficile bacteria in the colon. The leading antibiotics known to disrupt the normal intestinal flora, yet not limited to, are Ampicillin, Amoxicillin, Cephalosporins, Clindamycin, and the broad spectrum antibiotics.
Since November 2012 the CDC has shared public announcements regarding antibiotic use: Colds and many ear and sinus infections are caused by viruses, not bacteria. Taking antibiotics to treat a “virus” can make those drugs less effective when you and your family really need them. Limiting the usage of antibiotics will also help limit new cases of CDI.
*Always discuss the symptoms and medications with the treating Physician.
What are C.diff. Symptoms? Symptoms of Clostridium difficile (C.diff.)
C.diff. strains produce several toxins; the most popular are enterotoxin – Clostridium difficile toxin A and cytotoxin – Clostridium difficile toxin B. Both strains are responsible for the symptoms of diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, fatigue, and can advance to a complication of a severe inflammation of the colon; pseudomembranous colitis, which can also lead to further complications of toxic megacolon.
How is C.diff. Transmitted? Mode of transmission of CDI can be either directly or indirectly, hospital acquired (nosocomial) or community – acquired; Ingesting C.diff spores transmitted from others and patients by hands, or altered normal intestinal flora by antibiotic therapy allowing proliferation of C.diff. in the colon. Coming in contact with surfaces, devices, or material with Clostridium difficile spores can easily be transferred to individuals by hands that have touched a contaminated surface or item. Examples of surfaces, devices, and materials contaminated with C.diff. spores in hospital and community/outpatient settings: commodes, bath tubs, showers, hand rails, bed rails, counter tops, handles, clothing, medical equipment, and electronic rectal thermometers.
The C Diff Foundation provide a wide range of programs, such as education, and advocacy for C. diff. infection prevention, treatments, support, and environmental safety worldwide, training of volunteer patient advocates (VPA’s) across the globe to provide educational workshops, supplying life-saving medications for those afflicted with this infection from young children to seniors, building satellite branches across the globe, presenting educational workshops in educational programs, improving and expanding the C. difficile infection awareness, providing global tele-conferencing support sessions in mental health counseling, long-term illnesses, the prevention, treatments, environmental safety with nutritional education for patients, and families suffering through a C. difficile infection
and so much more.
We are working together and dedicated at raising C. diff. awareness to witness a decrease in newly diagnosed C. difficile infections worldwide and through dedication and efforts of the
C Diff Foundation Volunteers – we will meet our goals.
Treatments For CDI? Treating C diff is becoming more challenging to physicians, frustrating to patients, and costly to the health care industry. To date there are three antibiotics effective at treating C diff: Metronidazole is prescribed to treat mild to moderate symptoms and is cost effective (8). Vancomycin is prescribed for moderate to severe symptoms via: oral route as intravenous administration does not achieve gut lumen therapeutic levels. Vancomycin is prescribed to patients with unsuccessful results from the Metronidazole, or the patient is allergic, or pregnant, breastfeeding, or younger than ten years of age.
The most recent antibiotic, Dificid (fidaxomicin) http://www.dificid.com is the first medication approved by FDA to treat C diff. Associated-Diarrhea CDAD in over twenty five years with superiority in sustained clinical response (5) Loperamide, diphenoxylate and bismuth medications are contraindicated as they slow the fecal transit time which extends the toxins in the gastrointestinal system.
The use of Cholestyramine has demonstrated positive results as toxins A and B bind to the resin as it passes through the intestines aiding in slowing bowel motility and assists in decreasing dehydration (9).
C.diff. spores are able to live outside of the body for a very long period of time and are resistant to most routine cleaning agents. It has also been proven that alcohol based hand sanitizers remain ineffective in eradicating C. diff. spores. In 2009 Clorox Commercial Solutions Ultra Clorox Germicidal Bleach ® was named the first and only product to obtain Federal EPA registration for killing C. diff. spores on hard, non porous surfaces when used as directed (1).
Please visit the following Page for additional information:
The CDC also recommends a 1:10 ( 1 cup bleach to 9 cups of water) dilution of bleach and water for cleaning hard non-porous surfaces keeping areas covered with solution for 10 minutes and the solution is to be mixed fresh daily.
Hand hygiene following the guidelines in HAND WASING; it is important to wash hands before entering and exiting a patient’s room (4). The spores are difficult to remove from hands; Universal Contact Precautions remain best practice for healthcare personnel and Contact Precautions for patients with a confirmed diagnosis of CDI. Prevention through education about CDI has proven effective and beneficial to environmental housekeeping departments, health care professionals, administration, patients, and their families (2)
To Join The C Diff Foundation Volunteer Patient Advocate Program, please contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us toll-free 1-844-FOR-CDIF
(1) Clorox registered EPA
(2) Clostridium difficile (CDI) Infections thttp://www.cdc.gov/hai/pdfs/toolkits/CDItoolkitwhite_clearance_edits.pdf
(3) Lab Tests and Diagnosis Mayo Clinichttp://www.mayoclinic.com/health/c-difficile/DS00736/DSECTION=tests-and-diagnosis
(4) CDC Hand washing
(5) FDA announcement Dificid
(6) Probiotics in the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea
(6) Danimals PRNewswire8/Jan2012;
(7) Get smart antibiotics week CDC