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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

eloped which has been associated with more serious disease, treatment failures and deaths.

"This study shows that C. difficile infection is an escalating issue in our nation's healthcare facilities," said William Jarvis, MD, principal investigator of the study and president and co-founder of Jason and Jarvis Associates, a private consulting firm in healthcare epidemiology. "Clearly, preventing the development and transmission of CDI should be a top priority for every healthcare institution."

According to the survey, 54.4 percent of patients with CDI were identified within 48 hours of admission and 84.7 percent were on the medical services, meaning they were being treated for general medical conditions like diabetes, pulmonary or cardiac problems and were on wards throughout the hospital.

"Our results show that the majority of CDI patients are admitted to the hospital already infected," said APIC 2008 President Janet E. Frain, RN, CIC, CPHQ, CPHRM, Director, Integrated Services, Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento, CA. "Hospitals need to be looking for patients with severe diarrhea, and if CDI is suspected, promptly institute appropriate precautions such as gloves, gowns and separating patients, to avoid spreading the infection. Early recognition of CDI is critical so that prevention measures can be implemented."

To reduce the risk of transmission, APIC has published a "Guide to the Elimination of Clostridium difficile in Healthcare Settings." APIC recommendations include a risk assessment to identify high-risk areas for CDI within the institution; surveillance program to outline activities and procedures to provide early identification of CDI cases; adherence to CDC hand hygiene guidelines; use of contact precautions (e.g., gloves, gowns and separating CDI patients from other patients); environmental and equipment cleaning and decontamination, especially items that are close to patients such as bedrails and bedside equipment; and antimicr
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SOURCE Association for Professionals in Infection Control andEpidemiology
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