Clostridioides difficile (C-diff) is a type of bacteria that is associated with long-term antibiotic treatment and can cause diarrheal illness as well as colon inflammation. Long-term antibiotic treatment can disrupt normal intestinal bacteria, making patients more susceptible to an overgrowth of C-diff bacteria.
C-diff spores can survive outside the human body for an extended period and can be spread via contact with contaminated surfaces.
How is The Queen’s Health System Performing Compared to the Nation?
The Queen’s Health System reports out all identified C-diff to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). A standardized infection ratio (SIR) is calculated by NHSN, which is a risk-adjusted summary measure that compares the observed number of infections to the predicted number of infections during a selected time period. The measure takes into account risk factors that may impact the number of infections at a facility, including facility size, the types of patients treated and kinds of procedures performed.
SIRs below one indicate that the observed number of infections during the measured period was lower than would be expected, while values above one indicate that the observed number of infections was higher than expected.
How Do We Prevent the Spread of C-diff in the Hospital?
To reduce the spread of C-diff, The Queen’s Health System has put into place practices consistent with guidelines set by the CDC:
- Patients with C-diff are placed in private rooms
- Health care personnel wear gowns and gloves while providing care to patients with C-diff
- Health care personnel wash their hands with soap and water
- Proper cleaning of environment and medical equipment with a sporicidal must be conducted at all times
- Ultraviolet disinfection is performed in rooms after patients with C-diff are discharged
- Appropriate testing method to identify C-diff infections must be used
- Antibiotics must be appropriately administered