Finally, in another look at infections and infectious diseases, let’s look at that all too common problem Clostridium difficile. C-diff rates in the hospital and healthcare setting have ramped up beyond that of MRSA infections making it the most common healthcare acquired infection (HIA) out there right now.
New C-difficile Infection Prevention
New guidelines are being formulated to come up with new ways to deal with this particular infection requiring a multidisciplinary approach to managing these patients and preventing further infection.
- First, using best practices for antibiotics, meaning only prescribing them when absolutely necessary.
- Next is isolation of the C-diff patients from the rest of the population, uses of contact precautions when managing and treating these patients and using dedicated equipment that is also kept from the general population.
- Third, WASH THOSE HANDS! Good hand hygiene should be first on the list, any list, having to do with infection control and prevention.
- Fourth is education of ancillary support staff and other healthcare workers to make sure they understand how to appropriately manage these patients and their infection. It does us no good if every nurse and doctor uses spectacular infection control procedures only to have the person who empties the trash contaminate the rest of the unit.
- Finally we must create an alert system and reporting criteria to make sure we are tracking numbers and isolating outbreaks as early as possible.
I’m sure your facilities are using some or all of these measures already but constant vigilance and attention to detail are needed when managing these patients so that they recover safely and the rest of the patient community are protected as well.
Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Treating and Managing Sepsis Patients from NTI 2014 and Episode 296.