Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) caused almost half a million infections in the United States in a single year, according to a study released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Approximately 29,000 patients with a C. difficile infection died within 30 days of initial diagnosis from illnesses such as sepsis. Of those, about 15,000 deaths were estimated to be directly attributable to C. difficile infections.
“C. difficile infections cause immense suffering and death for thousands of Americans each year,” says CDC director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH. “These infections can be prevented by improving antibiotic prescribing and by improving infection control in the healthcare system. CDC hopes to ramp up prevention of this deadly infection by supporting State Antibiotic Resistance Prevention Programs in all 50 states.”
More details about the study, including effect on certain age groups, are available at http://www.cdc.gov/media/dpk/2015/dpk-deadly-diarrhea.html. Prevention progress of C. difficile in hospitals by state and hospital were previously published and can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/hai/progress-report/index.html and http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare, respectively.
A Nurse Turned C. diff Survivor Shares her Story
C. difficile often causes devastating suffering among people who become infected. Nurse Nancy Caralla knows this suffering all too well. She contracted C. difficile while caring for an infected patient and also lost her father to C. difficile. Turning her experience into a force for prevention, Nancy is now the founding executive director and president of the C diff Foundation, where she aims to raise awareness about C. difficile nationwide.
Read more about Nancy’s experience and questions she often fields from patients and families stricken by this horrible infection at: http://blogs.cdc.gov/safehealthcare/2015/02/25/c-diff-survivor-and-advocate-shares-her-story-2.