C. Diff Hospital Infections Spread to Other Health Care Venues: Report
Federal health experts indicate that Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infections in hospitals are on the rise and spreading to other health care facilities.
A report released this week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlights the spread of C. diff, which is bucking a downward trend among other forms of hospital-acquired infections.
C. diff infections are at historically high levels, the CDC reports, killing 14,000 Americans each year. The CDC blames much of the spread of C. diff on the use of antibiotics, which destroy germs that would usually help the body fight off a C. diff infection.
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About half of all patients diagnosed with C. diff had it when they entered a health care facility, the CDC estimates, and as they move from one health care facility to another, like from a hospital to a nursing home, they end up spreading the infection to new venues.
The increase is also linked to a stronger strain of the bug, which has resulted in a 400% increase in C. diff deaths between 2000 and 2007. While almost half of all infections occur among people under the age of 65, 90% of the deaths occur in those 65 and older. The CDC estimates that about 75% of those with C. diff infections acquire them in a nursing home or doctor’s offices and clinics. About 25% first acquire the bug from hospitals.
The CDC notes that much of the antibiotic use is unnecessary, and reducing unnecessary antibiotic use could cut down on infections. The agency also says that health care providers are not always told that a patient transferred to their care has a C. diff infection and thus do not take the proper precautions.
C. diff infections can be prevented with infection prevention and control measures such as testing, isolating C. diff patients, wearing gloves and gowns when treating infected patients and disinfecting areas where infected patients have been.
BJMarch 17, 2012 at 7:40 am
I recently acquired c-diff after an emergency surgery for obstruction in my bowels. The approach the hospital took to tell me was undignified and I felt like I had the plague after I was told. I was also told that the patient in the room next to mine had it as well (as if to make me feel better about having it) After having done some research and after being out of the hospital for only 1 day (w[Show More]I recently acquired c-diff after an emergency surgery for obstruction in my bowels. The approach the hospital took to tell me was undignified and I felt like I had the plague after I was told. I was also told that the patient in the room next to mine had it as well (as if to make me feel better about having it) After having done some research and after being out of the hospital for only 1 day (was in the hospital for 7 days) my c-diff seems to have taken a turn for the worse. (My guts felt like they exploded at 1:30 am.) I was a normal healthy 49 year old before I went in to the hospital and now am afraid I may have a long road ahead of me from what I have read. I am not even sure I will ever get to return to work due to effects of the c-diff. I am mortified at what my prognosis might be. I am angry at the health care facility for not counseling me better and making it sound like this is something that will get better. (From what I have read in most cases it does not get better) It was real ironic when I was in the hospital that a news station had talked about this and how many people are dying from it. This is something that more people need to know about upon being admitted to a healthcare facility. I am in panic mode at the moment because I don't know if I will ever get back to normal. The symptoms I have due to the c-diff were mentioned to the health care providers at the hospital and not one person told me that these were due to the c-diff and I feel like it was sugar coated to make me believe these other symptoms were from the surgery itself. I truly believe that their needs to be more awareness about this disease.
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