Immediate Action Necessary to Control C. Diff Infection

NOVEMBER 17, 2015
Amy Jacob
As the incidence of Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infection spirals, physicians should emphasize the importance of antibiotic stewardship.
 
A study published in the journal affiliated with the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) summarized a recent NFID webinar by Carolyn V. Gould, MD, and L. Clifford McDonald, MD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Thomas M. File, Jr., MD, Editor-in-Chief, Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice.
 
While C. diff is mainly a significant hospital-acquired infection, recently approximately 5% of C. diff cases are diagnosed outside hospitals.
 
Since prior antibiotic treatment is the primary risk factor for C. diff, antibiotic stewardship is considered a key factor in controlling significant spikes in incidences.
 
Antibiotics are capable of disrupting intestinal balance, thereby creating the opportunity for C. diff spores to produce diarrhea-causing toxins.
 
According to the CDC, there are six essential methods to consider for C. diff prevention:
 
·      Careful prescribing and use of antibiotics
·      Early and reliable diagnosis
·      Immediate isolation of infected patients
·      Contact precautions – wearing gloves and gowns for all contact with the patient and patient-care environment
·      Adequately cleaning patient care environments; using an EPA-registered C. diff sporicidal disinfectant
·      Effective communication about C. diff status when patients are transferred between healthcare facilities
 
“The current epidemiology of CDI necessitates active participation from all segment of the healthcare community in a comprehensive approach to reduce the burden of CDI through effective antibiotic stewardship and active measures to reduce spore transmission,” concluded Gould, McDonald, and File.


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