An 'all out war' against C. diff leads to lower infection rate, study finds

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Researchers waging an “all out war” against C. difficile were able to significantly reduce the number of infections at their facility within three months, according to the results of a new study.

The multifaceted C. difficile attack included prevention, early detection, review and full implementation of national infection control guidelines, and aggressive treatment measures, according to lead researcher Dr. Mark H. Mellow, of the Center for digestive Health in Oklahoma City, OK. To ensure compliance, researchers asked doctors and nurses at the INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center—where the study was conducted—for their suggestions. These included keeping an uncluttered sink area, using appropriate size gloves, and making stethoscopes easily accessible, according to Mellow. Researchers also limited the use of proton pump inhibitors, and encouraged nurses to send stool for testing without waiting for physician approval if C. difficile was suspected.

The rate of C. difficile infection at INTEGRIS during the 12 months prior to the start of the study was 11.3 cases per 100 admissions. During the year following the three-month war against C. difficile, the rate dropped by 40% to 6.9 per 100 admissions, according to Mellow. The research was presented Oct. 18 at the American College of Gastroenterology's (ACG) 75th Annual Scientific meeting in San Antonio, TX.

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