If you are a hospital worker, healthcare volunteer or nursing home professional, you can help prevent C-diff infections. Whether it’s your job to nurse the C-diff patient back to health, bathe them or simply clean their room, you can turn around the spread of this terrible infection and save somebody’s life.
To understand how you can prevent the spread of C-diff, guidelines are important.
First, what is C-diff? C-diff is a bacteria that is found in human feces. How is this infection spread? Healthcare workers can spread the bacteria to patients or contaminate surfaces through hand contact. Any high-touch surface, device, or material––such as toilets or water faucets rectal thermometers–– that becomes contaminated with feces is dangerous.
What is the best way to combat C-diff? The answer is simple: good hygiene. If hospital staff consistently practices good hygienic protocol, the number of C-diff infections in hospitals and nursing care facilities can dramatically drop. Statistics show that over a two-year period hospitals that have followed good C-diff guidelines have seen a 20 percent decrease in hospital-associated C-diff infections. Communication is key to a successful hygienic protocol; share information with all team members’ care for your patient.
Results from a recent swabbing test of North Texas healthcare facilities indicates that healthcare workers and volunteers should be aware of high-touch, high-contamination surfaces. The swabbing study showed that exam tables, computer keyboards, light switches, door handles, faucet handles, toilet handles and curtain wands all revealed C-diff spore contamination. Make sure that these surfaces are cleaned regularly with bleach or another EPA-approved, spore-killing disinfectant.
94 percent of C-diff infections are related to receiving professional medical care. Hospital associated infections, such as C-diff, can be reduced if every healthcare professional would follow this checklist:
• Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after using the restroom and before eating
• When working with C-diff patients use gloves and gowns when entering the room and during patient care
• Report any patient experiencing diarrhea
• Reassess antibiotic use when someone displays C-diff symptoms
• Clean room surfaces with bleach or another EPA-approved, spore-killing disinfectant after a patient with C-diff has been treated there
• When a patient transfers, notify the new facility if the patient has a C-diff infection
• Use gloves and gowns when working around a suspected C-diff sufferer
• Use contact precautions for duration of diarrhea
• Suggest testing to the attending physician
• Routinely clean and disinfect all equipment
• Place these patients in private rooms or with other patients with C-diff