With more than 5,000 peer-reviewed articles posted to PubMed about Clostridum Difficile (C.diff), it can be overwhelming to cull out best practices and identify the most important insights for preventing its transmission. Recently an article published in Infection Control Today separated fact from fiction regarding possible causes of C.diff infection rates. A few key takeaways are emphasized by Kelly Romano, MPH, CIC, and are what all healthcare staff should know in order to best prevent disease transmission.
From this article our team found three highlights particularly insightful:
- There are nearly a half million documented C.diff infections per year: C.diff is a very serious infection – it kills 20,000 people a year in the U.S. Following guidelines provided by trusted agencies and associations such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) is critical to staff and patients’ wellbeing. There is a lot of misinformation such as unsubstantiated surveys. Using these sources could distract leaders from the most valuable areas to focus disease prevention efforts.
- Misuse of antibiotics and improper hand washing tend to be the culprits: The majority of literature available attributes C.diff transmission to inappropriate antibiotic use or inadequate hand washing by healthcare workers and breaches of personal protective equipment.
- Education and communication will lower C.diff rates: When it comes to C.diff, some extra communication and training might be necessary. Success is achieved through a cross-department, collaborative effort. Depending on the facility, more communication around cleaning and materials handling protocols may be necessary. Communication and training to all staff around proper hand washing (soap and water rather than alcohol or antibacterial scrubs) for certain protocols may be beneficial.
For more context, view the full article here.