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Intestinal Infection Afflicts 13 of 1,000 Hospital Patients, Infection Rates 6.5 - 20 Times Greater Than Previous Estimates, New Study Says
Date:11/11/2008

More than 7,000 C. difficile Inpatients on Any One Day; Patients Dispersed Across Hospital Units

ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The life-threatening bacterium that causes diarrhea and more serious intestinal conditions, Clostridium difficile, is sickening many more patients than previously estimated, according to a new study released today by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

"The National Prevalence Study of Clostridium difficile in U.S. Healthcare Facilities" indicates that 13 out of every 1,000 inpatients were either infected or colonized with C. difficile. Based on this rate, it is estimated that there are at least 7,178 inpatients on any one given day in American healthcare institutions with an associated cost of $17.6 to $51.5 million. The rate is 6.5 to 20 times greater than previous incidence estimates, according to the survey, released at APIC's conference, "Clostridium difficile: A Call to Action," in Orlando, Florida.

The APIC survey, the largest, most comprehensive of its kind, presents a one-day snapshot in time of the prevalence of C. difficile infection (CDI) in American hospitals. APIC's 12,000 members collected data about all of their CDI patients on one day between May and August 2008. Survey results were collected from 12.5% of all medical facilities in the U.S. that care for virtually every type of patient, including those at acute care, cancer, cardiac, children's, long-term care and rehabilitation hospitals. A total of 1,443 patients were identified with CDI from among the 648 participating hospitals.

CDI is most frequently associated with previous antibiotic use and is most commonly contracted by the elderly and those with recent exposure to hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare institutions. It is transmitted by hand contact with items contaminated by feces. In the last five years, a more virulent and antibiotic-resistant strain has dev
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SOURCE Association for Professionals in Infection Control andEpidemiology
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