C.diff infection treated in a home environment
While combating C. diff at home, it is recommended that soiled linens be handled as little as possible to prevent microbial contamination of persons handling the linen. Heavily soiled linens should be laundered separately and not with other clothing or other linens. Satisfactory Laundering has been achieved in “hot” water temperatures cycles in home washers while utilizing chlorine bleach products (amount varies with manufacturer and water capacity in each washer) and laundry soap.
Items Needed: Soap, Water, Clean Dry Towels
- Turn Sink Faucets On — warm water is recommended.
- Begin with applying Liquid Soap or a Bar of Soap (if a bar of soap is being used – rinse off the soap prior to washing with it to remove the germs found on the previously used bar of soap).
- Scrub between fingers, palms and tops of hands for a minimum of 20-30 seconds.
- Sing or silently recall the ‘Happy Birthday song – twice.
- Rinse with fingers pointed downward into the sink.
- Using a dry, clean towel proceed to dry both hands.
- Using a dry towel > turn off the sink faucets.
This hand-washing process demonstrates the greatest efficiency in removing Clostridium difficile (C.diff.) spores from hands and should be performed preferentially over the use of alcohol-based hand rubs when in contact with C.diff. or when it is suspected or likely.
Alcohol – based hand rubs are not effective eliminating the C. difficile spores. Hand-hygiene remains the ultimate infection-prevention task to be done to stop the spread of every germ and organism. * The recommended length of time to wash hands is a minimum of 20-30 seconds. Singing two to three renditions of Happy Birthday usually suffices the time suggested to achieve good hand-washing results.
* 70% isopropyl showed NO inactivation of C. difficile spores at exposure times of 5m, 15m, and 30m.
Cleaning a Home Environment:
What needs to be cleaned at home using EPA approved germicide for routine cleaning? All hard surfaces, which include the bedside commode (if applicable), bed-rails (if applicable), Bathroom sinks, floors, tub/showers, toilets, doorknobs, light switch plates, shower doors. Frequently touched or high-touch surfaces including computer touch-pads, monitor cables, monitors, Kitchen appliances (i.e., Refrigerator handles, oven handles) sinks, counter-tops, floors and any/all medical equipment being utilized (i.e., walker, wheelchair, IV poles/pumps). * Please contact the manufacturer of the EPA registered product of choice to verify surfaces prior to use. Chlorine based products may alter the color of surfaces and should be discussed with the manufacturer. Manufacturer contact information can be located on the back of the product label.
C. diff spores are resistant to many commonly used disinfectants and cleaning agents. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is important to ensure that surfaces are cleaned with bleach or an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved, spore-killing disinfectant .
To view EPA Registered Antimicrobial products effective against Clostridium difficile Spores click on the link below
Clean all items that are shared between individuals (i.e., glucose meters, thermometers, b/p cuffs, stethoscopes). *It is best to use disposal wipes, paper towels, and sponges are not recommended. The dirty disposable towels should not return to a clean bucket of solution and buckets/containers should be washed and disinfected after each use.
Always work from the cleanest areas of the home to the dirtiest (those most likely to be soiled with fecal matter), cleaning the bathroom last.
All hard surfaces that may be contaminated should be cleaned and disinfected on a routine basis. Clean surfaces soiled with fecal matter when noted.
To help prevent spreading C. diff. spores and all germs and bacteria during a C.diff. infection:
- Remove fabric shower curtains – replace with a plain plastic/vinyl shower liner one that will be able to be cleaned with a bleach product.
- Remove towels hanging on hooks, or stacked near the commode.
- Store toothbrushes, personal grooming items, and towels in a cabinet, linen closet, in zip-lock plastic bags, or under the vanity sink.
- Remove bath mat/rug or launder daily in hot water with bleach added (color fabrics may fade due to bleach – read manufacturer labels prior to laundering).
- Cleaning with disposable towels is beneficial.
- It is recommended to wear disposable Gloves while cleaning with disinfectants. Change Gloves and wash hands before exiting the room being cleaned and before entering a new room.
- A CDC Recommendation is to utilizing bleach/water 1:10 ratio: 1 cup of Bleach + 9 cups of water made fresh daily (Mix a fresh solution every 24 hours due to the bleach strength declines over time and changes the effectiveness after mixed with water) and keeping surfaces wet with solution for ten minutes.
- There is the option to purchase EPA Registered product Environmental safety is a sure way to prevent spreading the C. diff. spores and/or reinfecting the patient
- Home Restrooms: Clean and disinfect all hard, nonporous bathroom surfaces. Start with the highest surface (like the mirror) and leave the toilet for last.
- Protect hands/skin by wearing disposable gloves prior to cleaning with any solution.
- Ensure that all surfaces are disinfected, including the mirror, shower grab bars, shower fixtures, bathroom sink handles, toilet flush handle and bathroom toilet seat (disinfect the top first).
- Ensure the disinfectant remains wet on surfaces for the entire duration of the contact time indicated on the container label of the disinfectant solution or wipe being used. When mixing household bleach (1 cup) with 9 cups of water – surfaces must remain wet with solution for ten (10) minutes to kill spores and mixed fresh daily.
- Allow surfaces to air dry. If needed, use a damp cloth to remove any salt residue left on dry surfaces
- >>>>>> Restroom Commode, seat, handle, lid – should be disinfected after each diarrhea episode to aid in controlling infectious material to reduce the risk of spreading germs and on a daily basis.
- Non-bathroom areas: Cleaning and disinfecting should include horizontal surfaces in the home such as counters, dining tables, and bedside tables. Pay special attention to frequently touched areas such as door handles, faucets, light switches, refrigerator handles, oven handles and bed-rails (if applicable). These areas should be addressed in routine cleaning and cleaned when visibly soiled.
- Ensure the disinfectant remains wet on surfaces for the entire duration of the contact time.
- Allow surfaces to air dry.
- If needed, use a damp disposable towel or wipe to remove any residue left on dry surfaces.
While visiting a loved one in the hospital, wearing a gown and gloves is very important. Clostridium difficile (C diff) spores will spread throughout areas easily and by complying with hospital policies you will keep your family member, friend, yourself, and others safe.
- Please wash your hands for a minimum of 30 seconds upon entering the patient’s room, and after removing gloves — before leaving the room you are visiting, and please wash your hands upon re-entering before placing new gloves and new gown on.
- **** Please bring as few personal items and property into the patient’s room during a visit that can become contaminated with germs and try to avoid placing personal items on the patient’s room floor. Covering a visitors chair with a clean, dry blanker/sheet will create a barrier and help prevent the spreading of germs to the visitor while visiting in the patient’s isolation room. Please refrain from eating in an isolation room for your safety.
- Please visit the Nurses Station prior to entering a patient’s isolation room to review the acute-care and long-term-care facility policies in place or to request personal protection equipment (gowns, gloves) if they are not available to the visitor.
ALL “TOUCHABLE (HAND CONTACT)” SURFACES SHOULD BE WIPED CLEAN and helpful if cleaning is addressed prior to a patient returning to home after being diagnosed with a C. diff. infection and treated at the hospital.
Items needed to clean the home environment: disposable towels, disposable gloves, plastic goggles or safety glasses, a EPA Registered C. diff. kill product or one may choose to utilize the
cleaning ratio 1:10 solution; 1 cup bleach to 9 cups of water to be used on non-porous surfaces with solution remaining on surfaces for a minimum of ten minutes and mixed fresh daily for effective cleaning solution OR with a EPA Registered Sporicide/Disinfectant.
Question: Do Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes sold in local grocery stores contain bleach? NO
Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes, purchased at local markets, are made with a bleach-free formula that’s available in Fresh Scent, Lemon Fresh, Kitchen and Lavender scents so they leave a light, clean scent every time you wipe off a surface. * The “Disinfecting” wipes are beneficial addressing other germs but this product is not EPA registered to eliminate and kill C diff Spores
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What do I need to do when I go home from the hospital?
Once you are back at home, you can return to your normal daily routine in activity of daily living. Often, the diarrhea will be better or completely gone before returning to home. This makes giving C. diff to other people much less likely. There are a few things you should do, however, to lower the chances of developing C. diff infection again or of spreading it to others.
• If you are given a prescription to treat C. diff, take the medicine
exactly as prescribed by your doctor and pharmacist. Do not take half-doses or stop before you run out.
• Hand-washing remains #1 prevention: Take frequent 30 second hand-washing breaks during the day, especially after visiting the bathroom, before and after preparing food, after visiting stores, after visiting the gym, before and after eating, after traveling on public transportation, and often.
* Cleaning with a EPA registered disinfectant product will kill C diff spores in all environments.
* If any C. diff symptoms (diarrhea – 3 watery episodes within 24 hours, fever, abdominal cramping) are noticed, please contact the primary physician, healthcare professional and/or seek medical attention at the local clinic/emergency department for assessment and C. difficile stool testing to receive prompt treatment – especially if the individual has been treated with an antibiotic within 90 days.