Category Archives: Raising C Diff Awareness Education

C Diff Foundation Welcomes Denise Graham, Strategic Advisor

We are pleased to welcome Denise Graham
to the C Diff Foundation.

Denise Graham, Founder and President of DDG Associates, formerly the Executive Vice President to the Association for Professionals in Infection Control (APIC) and Epidemiology, led the nation’s public reporting initiative thereby enabling her to work closely with all agencies falling under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  Her expertise in this arena continues by assisting clients with ongoing changes such as value-based purchasing and guidelines coming from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

With greater than twenty years of experience in the healthcare industry, Denise has formed key working relationships with numerous leading experts.

Denise comes to the C Diff Foundation as Strategic Advisor to assist the organization with greater visibility and continued growth in educating and advocating for C.difficile Infection prevention, treatments, environmental safety and support worldwide.

To contact Denise:, please e-mail her at:    denise@cdifffoundation.org

C Diff Foundation Announces Scholarship Program to Support Health Care Students Worldwide

C Diff Foundation is pleased to announce the Michael and Helen Caralla, Sr. Educational Scholarship program. The scholarship program is to help health care students succeed and reach their educational goals.

Michael and Helen Caralla, Sr.
To apply for a C Diff Foundation
Michael and Helen Caralla, Sr. Educational Scholarship,
the applicant must submit an application
by May 1 of each calendar year.

 

 

 

 

 

The C Diff Foundation selection committee chooses application recipients based on a submitted essay, letters of recommendation, a willingness to complete the Volunteer Service project to promote C. difficile infection awareness requirement, and financial need.

Awards consist of annual scholarships that range in value from $750 to $1,500 USD.   Recipients must reapply each year they attend post-secondary school and will be chosen based on their academic progress and mentoring performance.

To be eligible for a Michael and Helen Caralla, Sr. Educational Scholarship the applicant must be:

  • A student and a high school graduate or have a General Educational Development a.k.a. General Educational Diploma (GED).
  • Enrolled full-time at an accredited post-secondary educational institution during the 2017-2018 academic year (If a foreign student is applying and is chosen, the educational scholarship awarded amount will be converted from USD to the educational institute location foreign currency exchange rate and proof of country residency must be provided).
  • Maintain full-time status throughout the 2017-2018 academic year in order to remain eligible.
  • Willing to complete a minimum of 50 volunteer hours promoting C. difficile infection prevention, treatments, and environmental safety awareness in their local communities per academic year awarded the educational scholarship.

C. difficile infections can be acquired and diagnosed in infants and across the life-span with a higher risk involving our senior citizens and that is why it is imperative to learn about a C. difficile infection, its most common symptoms, the treatments available, and environmental safety products to prevent the spread of this spore-bacteria and to help reduce C. difficile infection recurrences.

“When you apply to become a C Diff Foundation Scholar, you are taking the first step to determine your own future. The C Diff Foundation Scholars are individuals motivated and dedicated to making a difference in the health care community. We are excited to offer a scholarship program to help support health care students to advance their career path through the Michael and Helen Caralla, Sr. educational scholarship, a program in memory of our loving parents,” states Nancy C Caralla, Executive Director.

About the C Diff Foundation:
The C Diff Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, founded in 2012 by Nancy C Caralla, a nurse diagnosed and treated for Clostridium difficile (C. diff.) infections.

Through her own CDI journeys and witnessing the passing of her father, diagnosed with sepsis secondary to C. difficile infection involvement, Nancy recognized the need for greater awareness through education, the research being conducted by the government, industry, and academia and better advocacy on behalf of patients, healthcare professionals, and researchers worldwide working to address the public health threat posed by this devastating infection.

For additional Scholar Applicant information, visit the C Diff Foundation website

https://cdifffoundation.org/scholarship-eligibility/

Media Coordinator:
Denise Graham, RN
denise@cdifffoundation.org

Twitter: @cdiffFoundation #CdiffScholar

 

WHO’s World Hand Hygiene Day In Conjunction With Fight Antibiotic Resistance – It’s In Your Hands

SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands

WHO’s global annual call to action for health workers


SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands 5 May 2017 – Fight antibiotic resistance – it’s in your hands

The WHO’s calls to action are:

  • Health workers: “Clean your hands at the right times and stop the spread of antibiotic resistance.”
  • Hospital Chief Executive Officers and Administrators: “Lead a year-round infection prevention and control programme to protect your patients from resistant infections.”
  • Policy makers: “Stop antibiotic resistance spread by making infection prevention and hand hygiene a national policy priority.”
  • IPC leaders: “Implement WHO’s Core Components for infection prevention, including hand hygiene, to combat antibiotic resistance.”

Every 5 May, WHO urges all health workers and leaders to maintain the profile of hand hygiene action to save patient lives. Being part of the WHO SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands campaign means that people can access important information to help in their practice. This year Pr Pittet and three leading surgeons explain why hand hygiene at the right times in surgical care is life saving.

 

 

Le 5 mai de chaque année, l’OMS exhorte tous les travailleurs et responsables de santé à maintenir haut le profil de la promotion des bonnes pratiques d’hygiène des mains afin de sauver la vie de patients. Faire partie de la campagne Pour Sauver des Vies: l’Hygiène des Mains signifie que soignants et collaborateurs de santé peuvent accéder à des informations importantes pour améliorer leurs pratiques. Cette année, le Pr Pittet et trois chirurgiens de renommée internationale expliquent pourquoi l’hygiène des mains au bon moment au cours des soins chirurgicaux sauve des vies.

 

5 Moments for Hand Hygiene

The My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene approach defines the key moments when health-care workers should perform hand hygiene.

This evidence-based, field-tested, user-centred approach is designed to be easy to learn, logical and applicable in a wide range of settings.

This approach recommends health-care workers to clean their hands

  • before touching a patient,
  • before clean/aseptic procedures,
  • after body fluid exposure/risk,
  • after touching a patient, and
  • after touching patient surroundings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For further Information on WHO My 5 Moments for Hand
Hygiene visit:
To download hand hygiene reminder tools for the workplace visit:
To access WHO hand hygiene improvement tools and resources for use
all year round visit:
To see the latest number of hospitals and health care facilities which
have signed up to support the campaign visit:

 

Clostridium difficile (C.diff.) a Spore Forming Bacteria

Types of spore forming bacteria.

To provide a background and definition of  each of them the following information is beneficial.

Bacteria are a large group of microscopic, unicellular organisms that exist either independently or as parasites. Some bacteria are capable of forming spores around themselves, which allow the organism to survive in hostile environmental conditions. Bacterial spores are made of a tough outer layer of keratin that is resistant to many chemicals, staining and heat. The spore allows the bacterium to remain dormant for years, protecting it from various traumas, including temperature differences, absence of air, water and nutrients. Spore forming bacteria cause a number of diseases, including botulism, anthrax, tetanus and acute food poisoning. (1)

Bacillus

Bacillus is a specific genus of rod-shaped bacteria that are capable of forming spores. They are sporulating, aerobic and ubiquitous in nature. Bacillus is a fairly large group with many members, including Bacillus cereus, Bacillus clausii and Bacillus halodenitrificans. Bacillus spores, also called endospores, are resistant to harsh chemical and physical conditions. This makes the bacteria able to withstand disinfectants, radiation, desiccation and heat. Bacillus are a common cause of food and medical contamination and are often difficult to eliminate.

Clostridium

Clostridium are rod-shaped, Gram-positive (bacteria that retain a violet or dark blue Gram staining due to excessive amounts of peptidoglycan in their cell walls) bacteria that are capable of producing spores. According to the Health Protecton Agency, the Clostridium genus consists of more than a hundred known species, including harmful pathogens such as Clostridium botulinum, Clostridium difficile, Clostridium perfringens, Clostridium tetani and Clostridium sordellii.

Some species of the bacteria are used commercially to produce ethanol (Clostridium thermocellum), acetone (Clostridium acetobutylicum), and to convert fatty acids to yeasts and propanediol (Clostridium diolis).

Background:

Scientists discovered C. diff in 1935, but they didn’t recognize it as the major cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea until 1978. The rise of C. diff in the 1970s was triggered by the widespread use of the antibiotic clindamycin. Over the next 20 years, broad-spectrum antibiotics in the penicillin and cephalosporin families fueled the C. diff epidemic, and in the early years of this century, fluoroquinolone antibiotics were linked to a new and more dangerous hypervirulent strain of C. diff.

C. diff is classified as an anaerobic bacterium because it thrives in the absence of oxygen. Like its cousins, the Clostridia that cause tetanus, botulism, and gas gangrene, C. diff passes through a life cycle in which the actively dividing form transforms itself into the spore stage. Spores are inert and metabolically inactive, so they don’t cause disease. At the same time, though, spores are very tough and sturdy; they are hard to kill with disinfectants, and they shrug off even the most powerful antibiotics.

Here’s how C. diff causes trouble. Patients with C. diff shed spores into their feces. Without strict precautions, spores are inadvertently transmitted to hands, utensils, and foods, and then swallowed by someone else. The spores come to life in the second person’s GI tract, but in the best of circumstances, the normal bacteria keep C. diff in check and illness does not develop. But if the “good” GI bacteria have been knocked down by antibiotics, C. diff gets the upper hand. As C. diff multiplies and grows, it produces toxins that injure the lining of the colon, producing diarrhea, inflammation, and sometimes worse. Ordinary strains of C. diff produce two toxins, called toxins A and B, but the new, worrisome hypervirulent strains produce up to 16 times more toxin A and 23 times more toxin B. (2)

C. diff is an old bacterium,…..the CDAD epidemic is new ……..What turned a medical curiosity into a major threat? In a word, antibiotics.

Antibiotics are marvelous medications, and they are obviously here to stay. But doctors must use them wisely. That means prescribing an antibiotic only when it’s truly necessary, choosing the simplest, most narrowly focused drug that will do the job, and stopping treatment as soon as the job is done. Patients can help by resisting the temptation to demand an antibiotic for every potential infection.

When it comes to using antibiotics properly, less can be more.

Sporolactobacillus

Sporolactobacillus is a group of anaerobic, rod-shaped, spore forming bacteria that include Sporolactobacillus dextrus, Sporolactobacillus inulinus, Sporolactobacillus laevis, Sporolactobacillus terrae and Sporolactobacillus vineae. Sporolactobacillus are also known as lactic-acid bacteria for they are capable of producing the acid from fructose, sucrose, raffinose, mannose, inulin and sorbitol. Sporolactobacillus are found in the soil and often in chicken feed. According to “Fundamentals of Food Microbiology,” the spores formed by Sporolactobacillus are less resistant to heat than those formed by the Bacillus genus.

Sporosarcina

Sporosarcina are a group of round-shaped (cocci) aerobic bacteria that include Sporosarcina aquimarina, Sporosarcina globispora, Sporosarcina halophila, Sporosarcina koreensis, Sporosarcina luteola and Sporosarcina ureae. According to “Antibiotic Resistance and Production in Sporosarcina ureae,” Sporosarcina is thought to play a role in the decomposition of urea in the soil.

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Revival and Identification of Bacterial Spores in
25- to 40-Million-Year-Old Dominican Amber
Raid J. Cano* and Monica K. Borucki

A bacterial spore was revived, cultured, and identified from the abdominal contents of extinct bees preserved for 25 to 40 million years in buried Dominican amber. Rigorous surface decontamination of the amber and aseptic procedures were used during the recovery of the bacterium. Several lines of evidence indicated that the isolated bacterium was of ancient origin and not an extant contaminant. The characteristic enzymatic, biochemical, and 1 6S ribosomal DNA profiles indicated that the ancient bacterium is most closely related to extant Bacillus sphaericus.

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

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/268/5213/1060.long

 

Sources:

(1)   http://Sciencing.com/types-spore-forming-bacteria-2504.html

(2) http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/clostridium-difficile-an-intestinal-infection-on-the-rise

C Diff Foundation Welcomes Linda Jablonski, MS, BSN, RN-BC – Director Of Nursing

lindajabheadshot

 

 

WELCOME

We are pleased to welcome Linda Jablonski, MS, BSN, RN-BC, to the C Diff Foundation.   Linda presides as the Director of Nursing of the C Diff Foundation’s Global Community Education & Outreach Program

worldaround

Linda Jablonski has been in the Nursing profession for over 22 years. A Graduate from Fairleigh Dickinson University and Masters at Kean College of New Jersey. Linda was a Special Education Instructor and Counselor prior to entering Nursing and her Thesis was on Preventing Violence Through Education or PTE. The major component of her thesis was Community Outreach. Linda worked her way through school as a Certified Nurses Aide and Home Health Aid which developed the experience and passion in the Home Care setting. Today Linda is a Director of Nursing for a Home Health agency and works at providing quality care, continued education to staff, and speaking to community groups to provide education in Infection Prevention (C.diff., MRSA & Superbugs) and Antibiotic Resistance Awareness and Stewardship Programs.

MD Peer Exchange Focus On Clostridium difficile Infections

mdmag

Courtesy of MDMag .com

MD Magazine

 

 

Listen and View Panelists:  Peter L. Salgo, MD; Erik Dubberke, MD; Lawrence J. Brandt, MD; Dale N. Gerding, MD; and Daniel E. Freedberg, MD, MS,

Topic of discussion:  Understanding Why Clostridium difficile Infections (CDI) Occur In the Community

The second video the panelists discuss:

The Pathophysiology of Clostridium difficile Infection (CDI)  and Its Impact On the Gastrointestinal System.

See more at: http://www.mdmag.com/peer-exchange/clostridium-difficile-infections/understanding-why-clostridium-difficile-infections-occur-in-the-community#sthash.r4Z6jNwk.dpuf

 

 

Highlights Of the Latest Advances In the Battle Against the Deadly Pathogen – Dale Gerding, MD

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TO READ THIS ARTICLE IN ITS ENTIRETY AS PUBLISHED IN THE MD MAGAZINE — PLEASE CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING LINK TO BE REDIRECTED:

 

http://www.mdmag.com/medical-news/c-diff-foundation-highlights-latest-advances-in-the-battle-against-the-deadly-pathogen

In September, researchers, health care workers, and industry and patient advocates convened for the 4th Annual International Raising C. diff Awareness Conference and Health Expo in Atlanta.

Clifford McDonald, MD, Associate Director for Science in the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chaired the conference. In his role at the CDC, McDonald’s at the forefront of efforts to prevent and treat the infection – one the CDC has declared among the most urgent drug-resistant threats that we currently face.

“It’s my firm belief that we are on the threshold of a new era in better diagnosis, treatment, and prevention approaches. At the CDC, we deal with statistics, but there are faces behind those numbers. At the heart of every infection is a patient who deserves our competence, our empathy, and our passion,” said McDonald.

One of those faces, Roy Poole, is a volunteer patient advocate for the  C Diff Foundation. After retiring from a career in the Air Force, Poole led a healthy, active lifestyle as an avid outdoors-man in Colorado before antibiotics prescribed for a routine dental procedure set the stage for CDI. In the medical community, his symptoms were met with disbelief and inappropriate treatment.

“Three weeks after leaving the hospital, I walked into my (previous) primary care physician, and asked for an order to have a stool sample taken to determine if Toxins A or B were present. His response was, ‘Are you still having problems with that?’ Clearly, there is a need for more education about C. diff among physicians,” said Poole.

CDI is a formidable opponent. However, with the newly focused attention on discovering ways to disable the bacteria and cohesive public health approaches aimed at prevention, presenters from government, academia and industry offered five key reasons we can win the battle against C. diff:

Antibiotic stewardship efforts are gaining a foothold.
Statistics present a chilling picture: 453,000 new cases and an estimated 30,000 deaths each year. It’s likely that those numbers grossly underestimate the true impact of CDI, since it’s what we know from death certificate reporting.

However, we are seeing that rates may have peaked after a long plateau. Mark Wilcox, MD, Head of Microbiology at Leeds Teaching Hospital, Professor of Medical Microbiology at University of Leeds, and the lead on Clostridium difficile for Public Health England in the United Kingdom, has demonstrated a 70% reduction in cases in England in just 7 years. This was after a concerted effort that Wilcox spearheaded surrounding antibiotic stewardship, specifically addressing a reduction in unnecessary prescribing of fluoroquinolones and cephalosporin antibiotics.

Commonly prescribed antibiotics disrupt the protective microbiota (the normal bacteria of the gut) and leave it vulnerable for C. diff colonization. “There was a concerted effort that went beyond lip service and truly embraced the principles of improved surveillance, more accurate diagnostics, enhanced infection prevention measures to use antibiotics more wisely and to limit transmission and careful treatment,” said Wilcox.

High rates of CDI are always associated with the use of certain antibiotics: clindamycin, cephalosporin, and fluoroquinolones. Research has shown that lower respiratory tract infections and urinary tract infections account for more than 50% of all in-patient antibiotics use. But are these really necessary?

“We know that antibiotics are overused and misused across every healthcare setting. At least 30% of antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary – and this equates to 47 million unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions per year written in doctors’ offices, hospital outpatient departments, and emergency departments. We have a lot of work to do, and CDC is actively working to reduce unnecessary antibiotic use,” said Arjun Srinivasan, MD at the CDC. “Stopping unnecessary antibiotics is the single most effective thing we can do to curb C. diff infections in the United States. This is something that we can do today.”

Srinivasan acknowledged that telling patients that they can’t have a prescription for an antibiotic might result in some pushback. “Patient satisfaction scores are a very real concern. When someone is sick and takes a day off work, they’re not leaving without a prescription – especially when the last provider wrote one for their same symptoms,” he said. “But this is a new day, and it’s up to the physician to educate their patients and stay strong.”

Hospitalists have access to accurate, inexpensive and quick diagnostic tests that can lead to targeted, effective treatment. This can arm the treating physician and patient with information that can put patients on a path to recovery without feeling like they are being dismissed.

Emerging guidance reflects important advances in research and development.

Most recently published in 2010, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) Clinical Practice Guidelines for C. diff are currently under review. This is critical because of the number of physicians still treating with metronidazole first, despite the fact that the largest randomized controlled clinical trial has shown that vancomycin is more effective.

“Since 2010, the landscape has changed dramatically,” said Stuart B. Johnson, MD, Professor, Department of Medicine, Loyola University, and Researcher at the Hines VA Hospital in Chicago.

“The past few years have ushered in a new age of understanding how and where C. diff colonizes, and the damaging toxins A and B that it produces.”

Considering that 25-30% of patients experience a CDI recurrence, it’s evident that metronidazole unnecessarily contributes to the failed treatment outcomes for patients. Metronidazole is less expensive, but has more side effects than oral vancomycin and is less effective in treating CDI.

Johnson provided an overview of the dramatic advances this space has seen in just the past few years.

Limitations of current guidelines include:
•       No mention of fidaxomicin, a narrow-spectrum antibiotic, which in 2011 was the first medication approved in 25 years for the treatment of C. diff associated diarrhea
•       Limited evidence for recommendations to treat severe, complicated CDI
•       Limited evidence for recommendations on recurrent CDI
•       Little mention of Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT)

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5.  Patient advocacy and awareness efforts can alter the course of CDI.
CDI survivors shared their experiences along their emotional journey – fear, disbelief, isolation, and depression. They also expressed gratitude at the validation, information and support they received from the patient advocacy community. Perhaps the greatest gift they have received is the empowerment to question their physicians about the necessity of antibiotics they have been prescribed in terms of risk of CDI.

“The hospital where I was treated initially seemed eager to have me leave. They offered no additional help. The C diff Foundation has been my greatest source of help. In turn, I feel I help myself cope best, when I help others to cope with the disease,” said Poole.

TO READ THIS ARTICLE IN ITS ENTIRETY AS PUBLISHED IN THE MD MAGAZINE 

PLEASE CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING LINK TO BE REDIRECTED —- THANK YOU

http://www.mdmag.com/medical-news/c-diff-foundation-highlights-latest-advances-in-the-battle-against-the-deadly-pathogen

 

Dale Gerding, MD, FACP, FIDSA, is Professor of Medicine at Loyola University Chicago, Research Physician at the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital. Additionally, Gerding is an infectious disease specialist and hospital epidemiologist, past president of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America and past chair of the antibiotic resistance committee of SHEA. He is a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and past chair of the National and Global Public Health Committee and the Antibiotic Resistance Subcommittee of IDSA. His research interests include the epidemiology and prevention of Clostridium difficile, antimicrobial resistance, and antimicrobial distribution and kinetics.

The paper, “Burden of Clostridium difficile Infection in the United States,” was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study, “Changing epidemiology of Clostridium difficile infection following the intriduction of a national ribotyping-based surveillance scheme in England,” was published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The study, “Prevalence of antimicrobial use in US acute care hospitals,” was published in JAMA.

The paper, “Vancomycin, metronidazole, or toleyamer for Clostridium difficile infection: results from two multinaionalm randomized, controlled trials,” was published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The study, “A Randomized Placebo-controlled Trial of Saccharomyces boulardii in Combination with Standard Antibiotics for Clostridium difficile disease,” was published in JAMA.