According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) March 2012 Vital Signs report, Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infections remain at historically high levels while most other types of healthcare-associated infections are declining. C. difficile-related deaths increased by 400 percent between 2000 and 2007, due in part to a stronger germ strain. C. difficile causes an estimated 14,000 deaths annually. Almost all C. difficile infections (94 percent) are connected to all types of healthcare facilities.
The CDC recommends that healthcare clinicians and facility administrators implement the following six prevention steps into their facilities’ infection control plan.
Ask if antibiotics are necessary; prescribe carefully. Unnecessary antibiotics use raises the risk of C. difficile infections.
If residents get diarrhea while on antibiotics or within a few months of taking them, order a C. difficile test.
Clean C. difficile resident room surfaces with bleach or another U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered spore-killing disinfectant.
Always wear proper personal protection equipment when treating C. difficile residents.
Keep C. difficile positive residents in isolation to prevent the infection’s spread.
Alert other facilities if a C. difficile resident transfers there.
Information courtesy Clorox Healthcare. To view or download the six C. difficile prevention steps in a visual infographic, click here. And, for more C. difficile prevention tips and educational resources, visit www.cloroxhealthcare.com/cdiff.