Let's Talk About C-Diff

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What is it?   Clostridium difficile is a bacterium that can live in the gut of 2-3% of the adult population. It rarely causes problems in healthy people
How did I get it?   It is not always clear why a patient has this organism. However, some treatments, including some antibiotics, can disturb the balance of bacteria in the gut. Clostridium difficile can then multiply rapidly and produce toxins which cause this illness
How is it passed on?   Clostridium difficile can live in the bowel of individuals without causing infection. However, they are capable of causing infection. They can be transferred by
  • Person to person via the hands
  • Faecal contamination of equipment, which you then touch
  • Faecal contamination of the environment, which you then touch
Who is at risk?   All patients are at risk, but some are more vulnerable than others
How can we stop the spread?   The simplest most effective measure in preventing the spread of infection is hand hygiene, as per the 'My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene'
  • Do not be afraid to ask staff whether they have washed their hands.
  • We will ensure the appropriate prescribing of antibiotics.
  • A patient who experiences diarrhoea, should be nursed in a side room to reduce the risk to other patients, and a stool sample sent.
  • Staff should wear gloves and apron when in the room.
  • Environmental cleaning will be increased.
What can you do?  
  • Wash your hands with soap and water after going to the toilet and before and after eating.
  • Please tell a member of staff if you have diarrhoea so they can care for you appropriately.
  • If you are being nursed in a side room it is important that you follow the instructions given.
  • Ensure that antibiotics that are prescribed are taken and the course completed.
What does it mean for you and your family?   Visitors will normally be allowed, but must follow any instructions given. It should not be necessary for you to remain in hospital because of Clostidium difficile, but you may need to complete a course of antibiotics
For further information:  


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