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Empowering C Difficile Patients to Actively Fight Infection

Curtis Donskey, MD, discussed his efforts to encourage C. diff patients and providers to do their part to reduce infection and reinoculation.

Curtis Donskey, MD, joined Contagion this morning to discuss his upcoming research presentation, “Empowering Patients to Prevent a C. Difficile Infection.”

Donskey’s presentation will be streaming tomorrow, November 5, at 10 a.m. EST as part of the 9th Annual International C. Diff Conference & Health EXPO.

Donskey is an infectious disease physician at Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, where his work centers around encouraging patients as well as doctors to work to prevent Clostridium difficile infections. Donskey and his team focus many of their efforts on healthcare providers, but also provide patients with information and strategies to fight C diff infections.

Donskey notes that many patients who are diagnosed with C diff had never even heard of the disease, despite its prevalence. In addition to educating patients about what C diff is, Donskey encourages them to take part in preventing reinoculation: “We educate patients to wash their hands with soap and water, because the alcohol hand gel does not remove C difficile spores.”

Additionally, Donskey and his team have been working to raise awareness of lesser-known causes of C diff incidence. Patients are encouraged to always wear slippers, as Donskey points out that floors are the most contaminated site in hospitals.

"The real goal is to educate and involve patients in C diff, and make them aware,” Donskey said.