What are the guidelines for preventing nosocomial transmission of Clostridium difficile (C diff)?

Updated: Jul 25, 2019
  • Author: Faten N Aberra, MD, MSCE; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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C difficile is now recognized as a major nosocomial pathogen, and universal precautions against it should be implemented. The following guidelines are recommended when dealing with patients with C difficile colitis [5, 30] :

  • Use disposable gloves, laboratory coats, and proper washing techniques

  • Educate the medical and nursing staff, as well as family and visitors, regarding the disease and its epidemiology, and emphasize compliance with hand hygiene practices (such as washing with soap or antimicrobial soap and water)

  • Hospital transmission is likely associated with the survival of spores on inanimate objects; therefore, close attention to cleanliness and disinfective measures are important (eg, use of contact precautions for 48 hours or longer following resolution of diarrhea, disposable electronic rectal thermometers, chlorine-containing cleansers or other sporicidal agents), particularly during the patient’s diarrheal period

  • Isolation of patients who are infected is strongly recommended but often impractical at most hospitals; in such situations, a dedicated commode for each patient should be provided

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