To prevent the spread of C. difficile
in hospitals and healthcare facilities, the CDC recommends
the following steps that healthcare professionals can take:
- Use antibiotics judiciously.
- Use Contact Precautions.
- For patients with known or suspected C. difficile infection: Place these patients in private rooms. If private rooms are not available, these patients can be placed in rooms (cohorted) with other patients with C. difficile infection.
- Use gloves when entering patients’ rooms and during patient care.
- Perform Hand Hygiene after removing gloves. Because alcohol does not kill C. difficile spores, use of soap and water is more efficacious than alcohol-based hand rubs. However, early experimental data suggest that, even using soap and water, the removal of C. difficile spores is more challenging than the removal or inactivation of other common pathogens.
- Preventing contamination of the hands via glove use remains the cornerstone for preventing C. difficile transmission via the hands of healthcare workers; any theoretical benefit from instituting soap and water must be balanced against the potential for decreased compliance resulting from a more complex hand hygiene message.
- If your institution experiences an outbreak, consider using only soap and water for hand hygiene when caring for patients with C. difficile infection.
- Use gowns when entering patients’ rooms and during patient care.
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