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6 steps to C. difficile prevention

July 10, 2012
by Long-Term Living
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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) March 2012 Vital Signs report, Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infections remain at historically high levels while most other types of healthcare-associated infections are declining. C. difficile-related deaths increased by 400 percent between 2000 and 2007, due in part to a stronger germ strain. C. difficile causes an estimated 14,000 deaths annually. Almost all C. difficile infections (94 percent) are connected to all types of healthcare facilities.

The CDC recommends that healthcare clinicians and facility administrators implement the following six prevention steps into their facilities’ infection control plan.

1. QUESTION

Ask if antibiotics are necessary; prescribe carefully. Unnecessary antibiotics use raises the risk of C. difficile infections.

2. TEST

If residents get diarrhea while on antibiotics or within a few months of taking them, order a C. difficile test.

3. DISINFECT

Clean C. difficile resident room surfaces with bleach or another U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered spore-killing disinfectant.

4. PROTECT

Always wear proper personal protection equipment when treating C. difficile residents.

5. ISOLATE

Keep C. difficile positive residents in isolation to prevent the infection’s spread.

6. ALERT

Alert other facilities if a C. difficile resident transfers there.

Information courtesy Clorox Healthcare. To view or download the six C. difficile prevention steps in a visual infographic, click here. And, for more C. difficile prevention tips and educational resources, visit www.cloroxhealthcare.com/cdiff.

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