Admission screening for C. difficile targets carriers

In an effort to identify Clostridium difficile (C. diff) carriers before admission to the hospital, researchers at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN,  analyzed stool samples from 320 asymptomatic adults pre-admission. Targeting those with one or more known predictors linked to C. diff infections—recent hospitalization, chronic dialysis and corticosteroid use—Mayo researchers found nearly one in ten entering patients carried the bacteria.

Of the 320 study participants, nearly half (48 percent) exhibited one or more of the three risks factors. Results indicated that screening patients having all three risk factors could identify (in this study, 48 of the 320 participants) 74 percent of C. diff carriers.

Association for Professionals in Infection Control (APIC) President Patti Grant, RN, BSN, MS, CIC, said in a release: “The study does not indicate necessity for all healthcare facility implementation, yet provides a step-wise progressive approach to help impede C. difficile activity when considering the overall epidemiologic impact of transmission.”

The study is published in the May issue of APIC’s American Journal of Infection Control.

Topics: Clinical , Risk Management