Navigation Links
New Report Shows High C-difficile Infection Rates in U.S. Hospitals
Date:11/11/2008

First Large Scale Study Finds 73% Are From Health Care Facilities

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Consumers Union called on hospitals today to take more aggressive steps to protect patients from Clostridium difficile (C.-diff.) infections in light of a new report showing that they are much more common than previous estimates had indicated. As the rate of hospital acquired C.-diff. infections has jumped in recent years, an increasing number of patients have developed antibiotic-resistant strains of the infection that are more difficult to treat and more deadly.

The report released by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) found that 13 out of every 1,000 patients or approximately 7,178 inpatients on any one given day were infected or colonized with C.-diff (94.4 percent were infected). The rate is 6.5 to 20 times higher than previous incidence estimates that were based on more limited data. The report estimated that on any given day these infections cost between $17.6 million to $51.5 million and kill between 165 and 438 patients.

The APIC report is based on a survey of infection control professionals from 648 health care facilities throughout the country who collected data about all of their patients with C.-diff. infections on one day between May and August 2008.

"C-diff. infections are much too common in our nation's hospitals and threaten the health of thousands of patients every year," said Lisa McGiffert, Director of Consumers Union's Stop Hospital Infections Campaign (http://www.StopHospitalInfections.org). "Most hospitals aren't doing enough to protect patients from these deadly, preventable infections."

C.-diff. bacteria is released into the hospital environment in feces. It is found on surfaces throughout hospitals and nursing homes and can be spread to patients through hand contact. In one study, C.-diff. was found on the hands of nearly 60 percent of doctors and nurses caring for infected patients. Studies have found C.-diff. contamination of almost all objects in the hospital environment, ranging from stethoscopes and blood pressure cuffs to mops.

When patients undergo antibiotic therapy, beneficial bacteria in the colon are killed off, but C.-diff. survives and multiplies. The bacteria release toxins that cause inflammation and damage the mucosal lining of the colon leading to severe diarrhea. An antibiotic-resistant strain of C.-diff. has developed in recent years that can result in colitis, sepsis, and death. Elderly patients, patients with severe underlying illness, and patients undergoing immunosuppressive therapy are at higher risk of becoming infected since their immune response to the bacteria and its toxins is diminished.

According to the federal Agency for Healthcare Improvement's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, the number of hospital patients with C.-diff. infections more than doubled between 2001 and 2005 to 301,200 patients. As infection rates have increased, so have mortality rates. According to data from death records and the National Inpatient Sample, fatality rates rose from 1.2% in 2000 to 2.2% in 2004, indicating that C.-diff. infections are becoming more dangerous and deadly.

APIC's survey found that 54.4 percent of patients with C.-diff. were identified within 48 hours of admission and that most were admitted to the hospital already infected. However, APIC estimates that 72.5 percent of the patients with C.-diff. infections developed them as a result of exposure to bacteria in a healthcare facility. In other words, many patients who were admitted with an infection picked it up during a previous stay at a hospital or nursing home.

The most basic way to prevent infections is to keep patients from being colonized by C.-diff. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Guidelines for Infection Control in Health Care Facilities notes that proper hand hygiene is the single most important factor in protecting patients from C.-diff. and other hospital-acquired infections. To complicate matters, the CDC advises that hands must be washed with soap and water when caring for C.-diff patients, as the commonly used alcohol-based hand gel is ineffective against this bacteria. Unfortunately, studies have repeatedly shown that handwashing compliance rates in hospitals are generally less than 50 percent. Other key infection control strategies include using contact precautions, including gloves and gowns with C.-diff. patients and separating them from other patients.

Improved cleanliness in hospital wards is also necessary to limit the spread of C.-diff. Use of a hypochlorite (bleach) cleaning solution is the most effective way to eliminate the bacteria. Hospitals that have stepped up efforts to more thoroughly clean hospital wards have effectively controlled the spread of C.-diff. However, reports show that hospital cleaning budgets are being cut every year and that these reduced numbers of cleaning staff are often inadequately trained.

Finally, since being on antibiotics is a risk factor for C.-diff., hospitals that restrict the use of the type of antibiotics frequently associated with these infections have had more success in protecting patients.

"Health care consumers need to be aware that most U.S. hospitals are not consistently following basic infection control practices against C.-diff.," said McGiffert. "Patients are already having to remind doctors to wash their hands, but they shouldn't have to bring bleach with them to make sure their rooms are clean. Hospitals need to make sure that rooms are properly disinfected and that staff are following strict infection control practices at all times."

Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, is an independent, nonprofit testing and information organization serving only the consumer. We are a comprehensive source of unbiased advice about products and services, personal finance, health, nutrition, and other consumer concerns. Since 1936, our mission has been to test products, inform the public, and protect consumers. http://www.StopHospitalInfections.org, a project of Consumers Union, advocates for public disclosure of hospital-acquired infection rates.


'/>"/>
SOURCE Consumers Union
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Virginia Tech Report Has National Importance
2. New Study Reports High Injury Rates for Hotel Workers, Even Higher Rates for Women and Nonwhites
3. GAO Report Confirms: Medicare Underpays for Anesthesia Services; Nurse Anesthetists Assure Seniors Access to Safe Anesthesia Care
4. Haemacure Reports Third Quarter 2007 Results
5. Report on patients access to cancer drugs uses flawed methods to reached flawed conclusions
6. Biotech Finishes on a High in August, Burrill Report Says
7. First-Ever List of the 5,000 Fastest-Growing Businesses Reports Total Revenue of $194.5 Billion
8. Consumer Reports Analysis: Drugs for Nerve Pain, Fibromyalgia Effective, But Not Always Best
9. MDS Reports Third Quarter 2007 Results
10. First New York/New Jersey Health Care Report Card Released
11. Authentidate Holding Corp. to Report Fourth Quarter and Fiscal 2007 Year End Results on Thursday, September 13, 2007
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/27/2016)... Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 27, 2016 , ... ... Institutes of Health, so it is not surprising that bariatric surgery has received increased ... Baltimore Business Journal explains. Of course, when it comes to weight loss, most people ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... An influential resource amongst nurses and professionals in the ... on the variety of topics detailing why we appreciate nurses in so many different ... has gone from being in a major recession to one of the hottest growing ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... In response ... many who are unaware of the plight of aphasia. In collaboration with the ... “Stroke Awareness” campaign. , The link between stroke and aphasia is relatively unknown, ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 27, 2016 , ... ... in scholarships to students studying complementary medicine. Allison Outerbridge is this year’s ... her award on May 18 at the university’s Student Leadership Awards ceremony. , ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... , ... May 26, 2016 , ... W.S. Badger ... has been honored with a 2016 When Work Works Award for its use of ... of the national When Work Works project administered by the Families and Work Institute ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... , May 26, 2016 Since ... matured into an essential life science tool for conducting ... applications. BCC Research reveals in its new report that ... growth phase, one powered by a range of new ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140723/694805 ) , ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... PUNE, India , May 25, 2016 ... "Medical Animation Market by Type (3D, 2D, 4D), by ... Patient Education), by End User (Medical Device Manufacturers, Hospitals/ ... report studies the global Medical Animation Market for the ... expected to reach USD 301.3 Million by 2021 from ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... and GERMANTOWN, Maryland , May 25, 2016 ... ; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) today announced that the company ... Diagnostics GmbH to develop and commercialize predictive assays in oncology. ... as a marker to predict effectiveness of anthracycline treatment in ... "We are pleased to partner with Therawis, which developed the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: