Clostridium difficile is a germ that causes diarrhea with the most important risk factor being exposure to antimicrobials. C.difficile infections can be prevented by using infection control recommendations and more care use of antibiotics as studies have shown that between 30-50% of antibiotics prescribed in hospitals are either unnecessary or incorrect. The CDC estimated the occurrence of almost half a million infections caused by C.diff. in 2011 with approximately 83,000 of those patients experiencing at least one recurrence and approximately 29,000 died within 30 days of their initial diagnosis. The costs associated with C.difficile can quickly accelerate. Treating C.diff. in the hospital averages between $3,427-$9960 (in 2012 dollars), and treating recurrent C.diff. is estimated at $11,631. This results in a total annual cost in the United States of more than $1.2 billion. We can prevent C.difficile infections by using infection control recommendations such as hand washing, appropriate cleaning and strict us of contact precautions along with more careful use of antibiotics.


HRET Resources:

HRET C. difficile Change Package

HRET C. difficile Top Ten Checklist

HRET C. difficile Webinars