C. Difficile Surpasses MRSA As Leading Cause of Nosocomial Infections in Community Hospitals
Vermont Nurse Connection 2010, August-Oct, 13, 3
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Healthcare-associated Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) have increased in incidence and have surpassed methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in community hospitals according to a recent study presented at the Fifth Decennial International Conference on HealthcareAssociated Infections in March 2010. A large cohort of patients from community hospitals (representing over 3 million patient days) was evaluated from 2008 through 2009; CDI was the most common healthcare-associated infection, closely followed by nosocomial bloodstream infections. Nosocomial CDI occurred 25% more frequently than nosocomial MRSA infection, reflecting both an increase in CDI and a decrease in MRSA since 2007. In 1935, Hall and O'Toole first isolated a gram positive, toxin producing anaerobic bacillus from the stool of healthy newborns. They named it Bacillus difficilis to reflect the difficulties they encountered in its isolation and culture. We now face the opposite problem of being unable to contain the growth and spread of this organism, which has been renamed Clostridium difficile. It is a common cause of infectious diarrhea, usually occurring as a complication of antibiotic therapy and most often in elderly patients.