It’s well-known that October is breast cancer awareness month, but what about November? This month is about raising awareness of C.diff! According to a study in 2015, about half a million Americans suffer from C. diff. Have you heard of this particular infection? It’s okay to say no, most people have not. In this blog, we will discuss what C. Diff is and how to prevent it.
The formal name is clostridium difficile, yeah it’s a mouth full. Most people have only heard of this from having the infection themselves or through a loved one.
How can someone get clostridium difficile? The causes can be found in the environment; soil, air, water, feces and food products. The most common side effect for people is diarrhea due to patients who are taking antibiotics. C.diff is common in people who have taken antibiotics that change the normal colon bacteria. The C.diff bacteria will grow and produce toxins. The spores that have been produced are hard to get rid of.
Within the past twenty years, there has been a large increase with the number of patients who have this disease. This is because this is a new strain that is more resistant to medications. In recent years, some patients who haven’t been in a hospital or taken antibiotics have developed C. diff.
The most common risk is if you have been taking antibiotics. Other risks are being over the age 65, recent hospitalizations, weakened immune system or a previous infection with C.diff. Being over the age of 65 makes you 10x more likely to get the infection.
It’s also known that females are more likely to have C.diff than males. The other problems are dehydration, kidney failure, toxic megacolon, a hole in your large intestine and the most severe, death.
Environmental cleaning is very important, you want to make sure you wash your hands with soap and water because alcohol does not inactivate spores. Another way this can be prevented is by stopping the use unnecessary antibiotics. A patient who has C.diff should have a private room or can share a room with another patient that also has C.diff. The hospital staff and visitors should always remember to have the proper gear on; disposable gloves and isolation gowns while in the room. It’s also important to have intensive cleaning, surfaces should be sanitized with bleach. C.diff spores can withstand any cleaners that do not contain bleach.
As a nurse you are more susceptible to getting sick because you deal with large amounts of patients everyday. It’s important that you take steps to prevent you from getting sick! One thing you can do this season, is to get a flu shot.
It’s also important that as a nurse, you do everything in your power to prevent hospital acquired infections. The single most important thing is to WASH YOUR HANDS, be sure to use warm water and soap. You should also be taking the proper cleaning steps in hospital rooms. This might be obvious, but we’ll say it anyway, medical instruments should only be used once. Also, having the right storage can make all the difference, you want to make sure that all medical supplies are somewhere clean, sterile and safe.
Take the steps to prevent clostridium difficile along with other hospital acquired infections. At FlowCARE we strive to provide high quality nurse server cabinets and a variety of other products for a low cost. We have a team of experts that is here to help you with whatever design you want.
At FlowCARE we know you work hard and we work hard to make sure that you are receiving a product that benefits you. We work with you to ensure you get a product you’ll love. Contact us today for more information!
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