Navigation Links
C. difficile epidemic should concern not only hospital patients but people at home
Date:6/16/2014

Without proper infection prevention in hospitals, and now homes, the Clostridium difficile bacteria poses a major health threat, cautions a Case Western Reserve University infection control researcher.

While mainly a concern in hospitals, cases of the C. difficile infection (or C. diff) are on the rise in the community, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that has seen increased reports of the infected people who have had no contact with hospital patients with the infection. The CDC reported 7.6 people out of 100,000 who had no contact with people with C. diff were getting sick with the illness.

It particularly infects healthy people, and particularly pregnant women, said Irena Kenneley, a Case Western Reserve clinical nurse specialist in infection control and associate professor at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing.

Symptoms of C. diff include continual bouts of diarrhea, severe cramps, swollen stomach and intestinal irritation.

Potentially, the bacteria's toxins can cause ulcers and eventually eat through intestine walls, which allows infection to enter the blood.

Kenneley's American Journal of Nursing article, "Clostridium difficile Infection Is on the Rise," focuses on evidence-based steps recommended by the CDC that nurses and other health care workers, including those who prepare and deliver food, clean facilities or make deliveries, can take to confine the bacteria in hospitals and other settings where someone shows symptoms of the infection. And similar precautions apply at home.

"The article delivers practical advice to nurses and nurse practitioners on infection prevention and control activities in any setting," Kenneley said.

Based on CDC guidelines, she recommends:

  • Isolating the patient (or, if possible, the person at home) when symptoms appear;
  • Appropriate and timely lab testing to determine the type of bacteria present;
  • Treating with appropriate antibiotics;
  • Cleaning thoroughly (using bleach is best);
  • Washing hands to stop the spread of further infections.

That last step, washing hands, is critical for hospital workers, family members and other visitors who have encountered someone with C. diff or is suspected to have contracted the bacteria. It can take up to 96 hours to confirm a C. diff diagnosis. Because of the wait for a diagnosis, isolation of the patient is keya practice similar to hospital protocol for patients with suspected tuberculosis.

Kenneley said these bacteria that can live as hibernating spores up to 100 years on surfaces until conditions are right to proliferate. The stomach and intestines offer that environment, once ingested.

Particularly at risk are people with compromised immune systems (HIV and transplant patients), those who are aging, recovering from gastrointestinal surgeries or are on antibiotics for more than three days to treat other illnesses.

C. diff has proliferated through use of broad-spectrum antibiotics that wipe out the healthy bacteria. A few antibiotics, such as vancomycin and metronidazole, have some success treating the infection, she said.

Poor hand-washing practices allow spores to travel between patients and other surfaces. Hand-washing must occur multiple times during patient care.

Kenneley recommends washing hands before entering a room, any time the hands touch a new surface in the room, and when exiting. And soap is more effective than alcohol-based hand sanitizers or wipes that do not destroy spores, she said.

Although hospitals clean rooms daily and after a patient leaves, some spores may still survive, Kenneley said, which is why the key to prevention is hand-washing.
'/>"/>

Contact: Susan Griffith
susan.griffith@case.edu
216-368-1004
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Reporting of hospital infection rates and burden of C. difficile
2. Groundbreaking clinical trial looks at fecal transplant as treatment for C. difficile
3. Dedicated cleaning staff shown to reduce C. difficile contamination in hospital rooms
4. Rhode Island Hospital reduces incidence of hospital-associated C. difficile by 70 percent
5. Fidaxomicin in Clostridium difficile infection: added benefit not proven
6. Low dose antibiotic treatment of C-difficile as effective as high dose in hospital setting
7. Researchers find novel approach for controlling deadly C. difficile infections
8. Use of frozen material for fecal transplant successfully treats C. difficile infection
9. Sanofi Pasteur announces favorable Phase II data for investigational C. difficile vaccine
10. Canada should play a role in addressing the global cancer epidemic
11. NIH scientists link quickly spreading gene to Asian MRSA epidemic
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... , ... June 27, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded ... Eyeglasses . , Millions of individuals in the United States and Canada wear ... a way to both correct vision and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities use ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping to develop a weight loss fitness plan ... fix the two major problems leading the fitness industry today:, , ... They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit their exercise program ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can easily ... of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn pictures ... . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text in ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits ... terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps ... slow progress toward their goal. , Research from PsychTests.com reveals that ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) learned during ... two significant new grants to support its work to advance research and patient ... recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in fighting pulmonary hypertension ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... pulmonary function testing company, is now able to perform sophisticated lung ... ndd Medical Technologies , Inc. Patients are ... labs.  Thanks to ndd,s EasyOne PRO ® , ARL patients like ... any needed testing done in the comfort of her own home. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016   Pulmatrix, Inc ., (NASDAQ: ... inhaled drugs, announced today that it was added to ... its comprehensive set of U.S. and global equity ... an important milestone for Pulmatrix," said Chief Executive Officer ... of our progress in developing drugs for crucial unmet ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... HOUSTON , June 23, 2016  MedSource ... platform as its e-clinical software solution of choice.  ... the best possible value to their clients by ... nowEDC.  The preferred relationship establishes nowEDC as the ... pricing for MedSource,s full-service clients.  "nowEDC has long ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: