C. difficile wreaks havoc on hospitals, report finds

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The number of hospital patients with infections linked to Clostridium difficile, or CDAD, more than doubled from 2001 to 2005, according to a report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The number of cases during this period skyrocketed from 148,900 to 301,200. the report found. The death rate for infected patients was also significantly higher. From 1993 to 2001, the total number of hospital discharges with CDAD rose by 74%, from 85,700 to 148,900.

AHRQ tracked trends in the development of CDAD in hospitals from 1993 to 2005 through its Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project.  C.difficile-associated disease symptoms can range from mild diarrhea to sepsis.