In a study of more than 550,000 patient discharges from 327 California hospitals, researchers found that patients were most likely to contract Clostridium difficile (C.diff., CDI, C.difficile) —a stubborn and potentially deadly hospital-associated infection (HAI) —when inpatient wards were in the “middle range” of capacity, or between 25% and 75% full.
“Our hypothesis going in was essentially that when hospitals are busier, perhaps care quality is compromised,” Mahshid Abir, M.D., assistant professor of emergency medicine at UM Medical School and the study’s lead author, told FierceHealthcare. “Certainly when we saw these findings, we were surprised.”
Overall, more than 2,000 patients included in the study, which looked at discharges between 2008 and 2012, contracted C. diff during their hospital stay. Hospitals often struggle to control C. diff infections, and a significant number of readmissions can be linked to such infections.
By basing the study around a model that accounts for seasonal staffing changes or unit closure, for example, researchers were better able to filter out infections that a patient had before arriving at the hospital, she said. Calculating occupancy in this way could also help providers identify potential risk factor for infection, according to the study.
Patients admitted to a unit that was at between 25% and 75% capacity were three times more likely to contract C. diff compared to those in units at below 25% or above 75% capacity, according to the study.
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Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) continue to plague hospitals and long-term care facilities across the country, although, a recent report from shows that strategies to prevent these infections have made progress in decreasing their incidence since 2010. Still, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that a least one healthcare-associated infection is reported in about one in 25 hospitals on any given day.
When it comes to keeping up on the latest news regarding these harmful infections, the newest strategies being used to prevent them, antimicrobial stewardship efforts, and treating infections caused by organisms that have managed to develop resistance to current antibiotics, the annual Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) Spring Conference is a gold mine packed full of information from key opinion leaders in the field, and Contagion® will be reporting on the conference for the second year in a row.
Since our inception in February 2016, Contagion® has kept readers current on new findings pertaining to healthcare-associated infections. Two of the big culprits that are most commonly behind these harmful and costly infections are Clostridium difficile and Staphylococcus aureus.
At last year’s SHEA Conference, we interviewed Robin Jump, MD, PhD, about the burden of C. difficile in the hospital setting and up-and-coming prevention methods that healthcare providers can use to help manage these infections.
Join us as guest, and co-founder of Xenex, Dr. Mark Stibich Epidemiologist and Chief Scientific Officer, discusses UV Disinfection with Xenex UV Disinfecting Systems and Germ Zapping Robots making a clean sweep across the globe zapping C.diff. and all harmful germs that can cause pain, suffering, and double digits in the already stressed healthcare industry.
MORE ABOUT OUR GUEST:
Dr Mark Stibich, a co-founder of Xenex, Mark oversees scientific research, new technology development, and protocol design. An epidemiologist who has published many scientific papers about Pulsed Xenon technology, Mark is also an inventor on multiple patents. Originally from Dayton, OH, Mark graduated from Yale and the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, where he earned a Masters in Health Science and PhD. Mark’s interest in public health has taken him to many distant countries. He served as a Peace Corps health volunteer and then trained Peace Corps health volunteers in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. He has conducted research in Russia, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, South Africa, Kenya, the U. S., and Brazil. In addition, he has received grants for and directed HIV/AIDS research and intervention projects throughout Russia and has been a consultant with the USAID project.
“C. diff. Spores and More “ Global Broadcasting Network spotlights world renowned topic experts, research scientists, healthcare professionals, organization representatives,C. diff. survivors, board members, and their volunteers who are all creating positive changes in the
C. diff. community and more.
Through their interviews, the C Diff Foundation mission will connect, educate, and empower many worldwide.
Questions received through the show page portal will be reviewed and addressed by the show’s Medical Correspondent, Dr. Fred Zar, MD, FACP, Dr. Fred Zar is a Professor of Clinical Medicine, Vice Head for Education in the Department of Medicine, and Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Over the last two decades he has been a pioneer in the study of the treatment of Clostridium difficile disease and the need to stratify patients by disease severity.
Antibiotic-resistant germs cause more than 2 million illnesses and at least 23,000 deaths each year in the US.
Up to 70% fewer patients will get CRE over 5 years if facilities coordinate to protect patients.
Preventing infections and improving antibiotic prescribing could save 37,000 lives from drug-resistant infections over 5 years.
Problem: Germs spread between patients and across health care facilities.
Antibiotic resistance is a threat.
Nightmare germs called CRE (carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae) can cause deadly infections and have become resistant to all or nearly all antibiotics we have today. CRE spread between health care facilities like hospitals and nursing homes when appropriate actions are not taken.
MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infections commonly cause pneumonia and sepsis that can be deadly.
The germ Pseudomonas aeruginosa can cause HAIs, including bloodstream infections. Strains resistant to almost all antibiotics have been found in hospitalized patients.
These germs are some of the most deadly resistant germs identified as “urgent” and “serious” threats.
C. difficile infections are at historically high rates.
C. difficile (Clostridium difficile), a germ commonly found in health care facilities, can be picked up from contaminated surfaces or spread from a healthcare provider’s hands.
Most C. difficile is not resistant to antibiotics, but when a person takes antibiotics, some good germs are destroyed. Antibiotic use allows C. difficile to take over, putting patients at high risk for deadly diarrhea.
Working together is vital.
Infections and antibiotic use in one facility affect other facilities because of patient transfers.
Public health leadership is critical so that facilities are alerted to data about resistant infections, C. difficile, or outbreaks in the area, and can target effective prevention strategies.
When facilities are alerted to increased threat levels, they can improve antibiotic use and infection control actions so that patients are better protected.
National efforts to prevent infections and improve antibiotic prescribing could prevent 619,000 antibiotic-resistant and C. difficile infections over 5 years.
“Patients and their families may wonder how they can help stop the spread of infections,” says Michael Bell, M.D., deputy director of CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion. “When receiving health care, tell your doctor if you have been hospitalized in another facility or country, wash your hands often, and always insist that everyone have clean hands before touching you.”
Antibiotic-resistant germs, those that no longer respond to the drugs designed to kill them, cause more than 2 million illnesses and at least 23,000 deaths each year in the United States. C. difficile caused close to half a million illnesses in 2011, and an estimated 15,000 deaths a year are directly attributable to C. difficile infections.
The report recommends the following coordinated, two-part approach to turn this data into action that prevents illness and saves lives:
Public health departments track and alert health care facilities to drug-resistant germ outbreaks in their area and the threat of germs coming from other facilities, and
Health care facilities work together and with public health authorities to implement shared infection control actions to stop the spread of antibiotic-resistant germs and C. difficile between facilities.
“Antibiotic resistant infections in health care settings are a growing threat in the United States, killing thousands and thousands of people each year,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “We can dramatically reduce these infections if health care facilities, nursing homes, and public health departments work together to improve antibiotic use and infection control so patients are protected.”
The promising news is that CDC modeling projects that a coordinated approach—that is, health care facilities and health departments in an area working together—could prevent up to 70 percent of life-threatening carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) infections over five years. Additional estimates show that national infection control and antibiotic stewardship efforts led by federal agencies, health care facilities, and public health departments could prevent 619,000 antibiotic-resistant and C. difficile infections and save 37,000 lives over five years.
During the next five years, with investments, CDC’s efforts to combat C. difficile infections and antibiotic resistance under the National Strategy to Combat Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria, in collaboration with other federal partners, will enhance national capabilities for antibiotic stewardship, outbreak surveillance, and antibiotic resistance prevention. These efforts hold the potential to cut the incidence of C. difficile, health care CRE, and MRSA bloodstream infections by at least half.
The proposed State Antibiotic Resistance Prevention Programs (Protect Programs) would implement this coordinated approach. These Protect Programs would be made possible by the funding proposed in the President’s FY 2016 budget request, supporting work with health care facilities in all 50 states to detect and prevent both antibiotic-resistant germs and C. difficile infections. The FY 2016 budget would also accelerate efforts to improve antibiotic stewardship in health care facilities.
It is with great pleasure to announce CDF representatives volunteering and advocating with
the C. Diff. Foundation, “Raising C. diff. Awareness” providing educational information to the thousands of fair-goers in North Central Pennsylvania and South Central New York.
The representatives will also be advocating on how to prevent acquiring a
Healthcare-Acquired Infection (HAI) from July 27th-August 9th.
Nearly half a million Americans suffered from a Clostridium difficile (C. diff.) infection in a single year according to a study released February 25, 2015 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). C. diff. is an important cause of infectious disease death in the U.S.
Approximately 29,000 patients died within 30 days of an initial diagnosis of a C. diff. infection.
Previous studies indicate that C. diff. has become the most common microbial cause of Healthcare-Associated Infections found in U.S. hospitals driving up costs to $4.8 billion each year in excess health care costs in acute care facilities alone. Approximately
two-thirds of C. diff. infections were found to be associated with an inpatient stay in a health care facility, only 24% of the total cases occurred in patients while they were hospitalized. The study also revealed that almost as many cases occurred in nursing homes as in hospitals and the remainder of individuals acquired the Healthcare-Associated infection, C. diff., recently discharged from a health care facility. his does not include the number of C. diff. infections taking place and being treated in other countries.” This data confirmed the necessity
to support communities through education and advocating, sharing the C Diff Foundation’s mission and Raising C. diff. Awareness – working towards a shared goal; To witness a reduction of newly diagnosed C. diff. cases by 2020.
Come visit the C Diff Foundation’s booth at the Troy Fair in the lower meadow of Alparon Park just off Route 14 in Troy, Pennsylvania, Monday, July 27th through Saturday, August 1stfrom 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The Foundation representatives will also “Raising C. diff. Awareness”
at the Chemung County Fair commercial building, just off Route 17 in Horseheads, New York,Tuesday, August 4th through Sunday, August 9th from
10 a.m. to 10 p.m. There will be a drawing at each fair for a basket filled with hand soaps, and other freebies will also be available.
For more information, please contact the C Diff Foundation at 919-201-1512 or
local C Diff Foundation Representative; Heather Clark at 607-821-0575.