Thousands of patients acquire Clostridium Difficle in our hospitals every year

Improving hand hygiene reduces HCAI

ORGANISM

C Diff is a spore forming anaerobic organism found commonly in soil and the intestinal tracts of many animals. It can be cultured from the stool of 80% of newborn babies and up to 3% of healthy adults. However, when normal bowel flora are compromised due to antibiotic treatment, bowel surgery or long term steroid therapy, levels of C Diff in the bowel rise causing inflammation of the bowel wall.

RISK FACTORS

  • Antibiotics, especially Clindamycin, Cephalosporins and Floroquinolones.
  • Increased age, recent abdominal or bowel surgery and hospitalisation.
  • Exposure to proton pump inhibitors recently considered as a risk factor

MODE OF SPREAD

  • The organism spreads when contaminated surfaces are touched and the organism ingested via the mouth.
  • Hands of Healthcare workers (HCWs) can also spread the organism from patient to patient.

COSTS

The average costs associated with C diff including increased length of stay, isolation precautions, antibiotic treatment, tests and investigations have been estimated at up to $8,000 per patient2,3

PREVENTION OF SPREAD

  • Prompt identification of infected patients,
  • Isolation of symptomatic cases,
  • Environmental disinfection
  • Scrupulous hand washing are required to reduce spread of infection.

REFERENCES/RESOURCES

  1. HPSC, 2012 accessed online
  2. HPSC, 2012 Surveillance, diagnosis and management of Clostridium Difficle in Ireland– updated of 2008 recommendations, HPSC, Dublin.
  3. HPA, 2009 Clostridium Difficle infection: how to deal with the problem, HPA, UK

C-Difficle Guidelines

Hand hygiene is recognised internationally as the single most important preventative measure in the transmission of HCAIs.

It is essential that a culture of hand hygiene practice is embedded in every service at all levels. (HIQA, National standards for the prevention of HCAIs, 2009)

Medical audits technology system supports the WHO 5 moments strategy

We can assist you with your hand hygiene audits and generate the reports needed for Accreditation purposes


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