CDC Report Makes Recommendations for Preventing C. difficile Infection

March 14, 2012 | Strategic Insights for Health System


Nearly all Clostridium difficileinfections are related to various healthcare settings where predisposing antibiotics are prescribed and C. difficile transmission occurs, according to the results of a study presented in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) March 9, 2012, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The study analyzed incidence data from the Emerging Infections Program and the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) at the beginning and end of three prevention programs that focused primarily on measures to prevent intrahospital transmission of C. difficile. The findings indicated that 94% of C. difficile infections were associated with receiving healthcare; of these, 75% had onset among persons not currently hospitalized, including recently discharged patients, outpatients, and nursing home residents. Among the C. difficile infections reported to NHSN in 2010, 52% were already present on hospital admission, although they were largely healthcare related. Among the 71 hospitals that participated in the three prevention programs, the mean infection rate declined 20%—a fact that CDC believes demonstrates that many of these infections can be prevented.

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