What is C. difficile?
Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) is just one of the many types of bacteria that can be found in the bowel. C. difficile is the most common cause of infectious diarrhea in hospitals and long-term care facilities. It has been a known cause of healthcare-associated diarrhea for about 30 years.
What is Clostridium difficile Infection (CDI)?
For most people, C. difficile does not pose a health risk. When C. difficile bacteria grow in the bowel, toxins are produced. These toxins can damage the bowel and cause diarrhea, resulting in a disease known as Clostridium difficile Infection (CDI). The effects of CDI are usually mild, but can sometimes be more severe. Symptoms can range from mild or severe diarrhea to high fever, abdominal cramping, abdominal pain and dehydration. In severe cases, surgery may be needed, and in extreme cases CDI may cause death.
How does CDI spread?
When a person has CDI, the bacteria in the stool can contaminate surfaces such as toilets, handles, bedpans, or commode chairs. When touching these items 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. This is one reason why good hand hygiene is so important.
Who is at risk of getting CDI?
Certain people are at increased risk for acquiring CDI. Risk factors include:
Additional risk factors that predispose some people to develop more severe disease include:
- A history of antibiotic usage;
- Bowel surgery;
- Prolonged hospitalization.
What is Bridgepoint doing about C. difficile?
- Increased age;
- Serious underlying illness or debilitation.
The dedicated professionals who work at Bridgepoint are committed to providing the best possible care to our patients. Therefore, on the last day of every month, Bridgepoint, like all Ontario hospitals, publicly reports its rate of C. difficile and the number of new hospital-acquired CDI cases. The analysis of our C. difficile rates over time provides useful information that is used to continually improve the quality of care provided to our patients.
What is the rate and count of C. difficile infections at Bridgepoint?