In the News...  

C. diff more prevalent than government data suggests
8/24/2012
Clostridium difficile transmission and mortality rates are far higher in nursing homes and other healthcare settings than the most recent government statistics suggest, an investigation has found.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated in March that c. diff kills 14,000 people a year, based on death certificate records. However, a USA Today analysis of records from the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found over 30,000 c. diff fatalities per year. The newspaper's analysis looked at hospital billing rates rather than death certificates, which do not always list the cause of death as complications from c. diff.

The report suggests around 500,000 people contract the disease each year.

Experts say that U.S. officials could get a better handle on c. diff by requiring nursing home and hospitals to report c. diff infections and antibiotic usage rates to federal regulators, a tactic that has helped healthcare facilities in Europe reduce c. diff rates. One focus will likely be on environmental services for healthcare facilities, as the newspaper reported that many hospitals have cut housekeeping budgets up to 25% in recent years. U.S. hospitals will be required to report their rates of c. diff in 2013, but there are no such regulations — yet — for nursing homes.

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Pedagogy Inc. has an online continuing education course for nurses, medical health care professionals, and other interested individuals ”Clostridium Difficile Colitis Prevention And Management”

Clostridium difficile is an inimitable organism that normally lives in the gut. When an antibiotic is taken to treat an infection, helpful or normal bacteria are destroyed, causing an overgrowth of the C. difficile bacteria. Clostridium difficile localizes to the large bowel, where it manifests as diarrhea and colitis. The symptoms of CDI can be mild or life-threatening.

Clostridium difficile is the leading cause of infectious diarrhea in hospitals and has become, along with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, one of the most common causes of health care–associated infections.¹ The incidence and severity of C. difficile infection (CDI) have increased dramatically since 2000, and CDI is estimated to cause as many as 20,000 deaths and to cost as much as $3.2 billion per year in US acute care facilities alone.² CDI outbreaks have become more common, and infection control–based CDI prevention efforts appear to be less effective than in the past.

How does your facility prevent patients from getting a CDI during their stay? In this course you will learn the characteristics and transmission of CDI, best practices for monitoring these infections, and the recommended practices for prevention and control.

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