Thousands of patients acquire Clostridium Difficle in our hospitals every year

Improving hand hygiene reduces HCAI


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.


  • 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


  • 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.


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


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


  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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