A Helpful Guide for CDI Prevention

A Helpful Guide for CDI Prevention

According to the CDC, the mortality rate associated with Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) increased by 400% between 2000 and 2007, due in part to a stronger germ strain. CDI accounts for approximately 14,000 deaths each year in the United States. Current estimates show that the average total cost for a single inpatient CDI is more than $35,000, and the estimated annual cost burden for the healthcare system exceeds $3 billion. “Preventing the transmission of CDI continues to be a serious and difficult challenge in hospitals throughout the U.S.,” says Ruth M. Carrico, PhD, RN, FSHEA, CIC. “The epidemiology of CDI is changing [Figure]. Its presence in hospitals and other health-care settings has caused medical personnel across the entire continuum of care to reevaluate approaches and perspectives to preventing and managing this potentially lethal infection.” A National Action Plan on CDI Prevention The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the National Action Plan to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections: Roadmap to Elimination in 2009. The document, available at, provides a roadmap for preventing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in acute care hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, long-term care facilities, and other healthcare settings. CDIs were among the first HAIs specifically targeted in the action plan because rates have been increasing in recent years. The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) has been involved in promoting and supporting the elements included in this national plan through development of specific guidance aimed at the healthcare practice level. In 2013, APIC issued an updated implementation guide to help clinicians further protect patients from CDI. The update contains new material and revised content...

Conference Highlights: ICAAC Annual Meeting

The 50th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, or ICAAC, held its 2010 annual meeting from September 12 to 15 in Boston. Among the news emerging from the meeting was the risk of invasive aspergillosis in non-traditional patients, the continuing danger of sharps injuries, and a new potential treatment for recurrent CDI. Soap & Water Wipes Reduce Wrestlers’ Skin Infections A Potential New Treatment for Recurrent CDI Looking at the Effect of Public Data on Performance Patients Shed H1N1 Virus Longer Risk of Invasive Aspergillosis in Non-Traditional Patients Sharps Injuries Still a Danger Water Wipes Reduce Wrestlers’ Skin Infections The Particulars: Skin infections are common among high school wrestlers. The vast majority arise within 1 week following exposure, including tinea corporus, folliculitis/impetigo, and herpetic infections. Weekend tournaments that extend over a 10- to 12-hour period allow for long periods of potential exposure to pathogens that may cause these infections to propagate. Data Breakdown: A study of 151 high school wrestlers found that those who used soap and water wipes following a match reduced their risk of skin infection by 97% when compared with athletes who used a 75% alcohol wipe or no wipe at all. Those who used soap and water wipes had only one instance of bacterial infection, with an odds ratio (OR) of 0.089. Those in the alcohol wipe group had three bacterial infections and one herpes infection (OR, 0.44). Wrestlers who did not wipe off after a match had four instances of tinea corporis, two bacterial infections, and two outbreaks of herpes. Take Home Pearl: High school wrestlers may be able to significantly reduce their...