New guidance issued on preventing C. diff

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted April 8, 2013

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The Assn. for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology has published revised guidelines on how to prevent Clostridium difficile, a health care-associated infection that each year affects more than 330,000 hospital patients and kills more than 7,000 people.

The guidance covers the changing epidemiology of C. diff, as well as isolation precautions and antibiotic stewardship programs that can help prevent the infection's spread. For example, the guidelines recommend written policies on appropriate use of antibiotics and use of systems that alert physicians about potentially inappropriate use or duration of broad-spectrum antimicrobial agents.

The report, the association's first update to its guidelines since 2008, recommends innovations in treating C. diff such as fecal bacteriotherapy, in which stool given by a healthy donor is transplanted into the infected patient to restore the recipient's normal flora and fauna and eliminate symptoms such as diarrhea. New products that improve hand hygiene compliance and environmental disinfection efforts also help, said the report (link).

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