Clostridium difficile Prevention

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  View this video to learn how to prevent Clostridium difficile, a unique bacterium that causes an estimated 250,000 illnesses and 14,000 deaths annually. Duration 02:44

Clostridium difficile Prevention Transcript

Each year clostridium difficile is linked to an estimated 250,000 infections, 14,000 deaths, and $1 billion in excess medical costs in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, C. diff infections occur most frequently in people who have had recent medical care and typically have taken antibiotics. Many of these infections can be prevented and everyone can play a role. If you're a hospital or health care facility leader, you could support better testing, tracking, and reporting of infections, and prevention efforts. You could also ensure that policies are in place and followed for rapid detection and isolation of C. Diff patients. Be sure your facility is cleaned thoroughly and that staff uses EPA approved spore killing disinfectants in area where C. diff patients were treated. Because C. diff is easily spread, it's important and required to notify other health care facilities when C. diff patients transfer, especially between hospitals and nursing homes. If you're a health care provider, please prescribe antibiotics carefully. And once a patient's culture results are available, be sure to prescribe antibiotics that target the specific bacteria for the appropriate time frame. If your patient has had, for example, three or more diarrhea or unformed stools within 24 hours, or sustained change in bowel consistency and or frequency, as well as of abdominal cramping, please consider C. diff testing. Also be aware of infection rates in your facility or practice, and ensure that you and your staff follow infection control recommendations with every patient. This includes contact precautions like gloves and gowns for patients who have active C. diff infections. If you're a patient, be sure that you take antibiotics only as prescribed by your doctor. And it's important that you complete the whole course of treatment. If you've been on antibiotics, you may be more susceptible to C. diff, so let your doctor know if you develop diarrhea within a few weeks of taking the antibiotic. Clean hands are essential to good health, so always wash your hands with soap and water after using the restroom, before eating, or any time hands become soiled. Finally, if someone with diarrhea uses your restroom, be sure to clean it thoroughly afterward with the bleach like product also called sporicidal. To learn more about clostridium difficile and other health care associated infections, please go online to the website. 
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