Clostridium Difficile Infection (CDI) occurs when good bacteria in the bowel are eliminated or decreased allowing the C. difficile bacteria to grow and produce toxins. The toxin produced can damage the bowel and cause diarrhea. C. difficile is one example of a hospital-acquired infection and is one of the most common infections found in hospitals and long-term care facilities.
The C. difficile infection rate is calculated as a rate per 1,000 patient days. The “total patient days” represents the sum of the number of days during which services were provided to all inpatients during the given time period.
The rate is calculated as follows:
Number of new hospital-acquired cases of C. difficile in our facility X 1000
Total number of patient days (for one month)
For more information about C. difficile infection:
C. Difficile FAQ
C. diff is one of many types of bacteria found in feces (bowel movements).
C. diff disease occurs when antibiotics kill your good bowel bacteria and allow the C. diff to grow. When C. diff grows, it produces toxins that can damage the bowel and cause diarrhea. C. diff is the most common cause of infectious diarrhea in hospitals.
The main symptoms of C. diff disease are:
- Watery diarrhea
- Abdominal pain/cramping or tenderness
C. diff infection usually occurs during or after the use of antibiotics.
Old age, the presence of other serious illnesses, and poor overall health may increase the risk of severe disease.
Treatment depends on how sick you are. People with mild symptoms may not need treatment. For more severe diseases, antibiotics are required.
When a person has C. diff disease, the bacteria in the stool can contaminate surfaces such as toilets, handles, bedpans, or commode chairs. When touching these surfaces our hands can become contaminated. If we then touch our mouth without washing our hands, we can become infected. Our soiled hands can also spread the bacteria to other surfaces.
If you have C. diff diarrhea you will be moved to a private room until you are free from diarrhea for at least 2 days. Your activities outside the room will be restricted. Everyone who enters your room wears gloves and a gown. Everyone MUST clean their hands when leaving the room. Always wash your hands after using the bathroom. Cleaning hands is the most important way for everyone to prevent the spread of this germ. As well, thorough cleaning of your room and equipment will be done to remove any germs.
Healthy people like family and friends who are not taking antibiotics are at very low risk of getting C. diff infection.
Wash your hands for at least 15 seconds:
- After using the toilet
- After touching dirty surfaces
- Before eating
- Before preparing meals
Use an all-purpose cleaner. Follow the directions on the label, and:
- Wet the surface well and clean using good friction
- Allow the surface to air dry
- Cleaning the bathroom using ¼ cup bleach to one gallon of water is recommended.
- Pay special attention to areas that may be soiled with stool such as the toilet and sink. If you see stool remove first and then clean as described above.
Wash clothes/fabric separately if they are heavily soiled with stool:
- Rinse stool off,
- Clean in a hot water cycle with soap
- Dry items in the dryer if possible
- Dry clean where appropriate
Dishes can be cleaned in the dishwasher, or by hand with soap and water.