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New expert guidelines aim to focus hospitals' infectious diarrhea prevention efforts
Date:5/6/2014

a special approach to antibiotic use.

  • Use contact precautions. Hospitals are urged to treat patients with C. difficile in separate rooms from the general patient population and require healthcare professionals to don gloves and gowns whenever providing care to someone with confirmed C. difficile. It is also recommended that healthcare professionals use dedicated patient care items and equipment in this care.

  • Practice hand hygiene. Because indirect transmission by healthcare professionals may be a major route by which patients acquire C. difficile, implementing protocol on hand hygiene is a crucial part of a successful prevention program. C. difficile differs from other drug-resistant bugs, such as MRSA and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) because it produces spores that are resistant to alcohol-based products. This makes wearing gloves and washing hands with soap and water before every encounter with infected patients extremely important. Hand hygiene protocols should be periodically measured to ensure compliance.

  • Ensure environmental decontamination. Education of environmental support staff, including cleaning crews, is crucial to maintaining effective disinfection.. This includes proper cleaning of patient rooms and furnishings, equipment, and surfaces touched by healthcare professionals and patients.

  • Conduct surveillance and performance measures. Implementing a laboratory-based alert system to provide immediate notification of newly diagnosed patients to clinical personnel will help frontline staff monitor for outbreaks. Additionally, creating reporting systems to capture the burden of the infection at a healthcare facility and assess efficacy of prevention interventions, such as hand hygiene and contact precaution, will help healthcare institutions to continually improve efforts.

    The guidelines note several areas that require more research before making recommend
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  • Contact: Tamara Moore
    tmoore@gymr.com
    202-745-5114
    Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
    Source:Eurekalert

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