Warning! Dangerous Intra-hospital Infection Risk

Fall 2007 CSANews Issue 64  |  Posted date : Oct 17, 2007.Back to list

Clostridium difficile is the most common cause of infectious diarrhea in hospitalized patients in the industrialized world. It is commonly found in hospitals and long-term care facilities and is a frequent cause of sickness and mortality among elderly hospitalized patients. Health-care workers can spread the bacteria which cause a C. difficile infection to other patients, and can contaminate surfaces through simple hand contact. How many health-care workers change their sterile gloves after touching each and every patient?

Healthy people are not usually vulnerable to C. difficile. People who have illnesses or conditions requiring prolonged use of antibiotics, and the elderly, are all at great risk of infection. In the past, only rare cases of the C. difficile infection were fatal. However, there is currently a mutated strain of the bacteria in Canada and the United States that has been leading to more frequent outbreaks and very severe symptoms among people who have been infected. This new strain can, and will, kill you and is very difficult to cure.

STAY AWAY from hospitals and long-term care facilities, especially if you are on antibiotics, have a compromised immune system or have received chemotherapy. If you absolutely must go, DO NOT TOUCH anything (including the person you are visiting) and keep your hands away from your eyes, ears, nose and mouth. If you have a friend or family member in the hospital, and they are having more difficulty than would be expected, they probably have C. diff., as well as the original cause of their hospitalization. Or perhaps MRSA, another dangerous bug that attacks your respiratory system. Ask the doctor or one of the nurses specifically about C. diff. or MRSA. These are deadly things and the cures are complicated and often ineffective. A personal friend was just released from the hospital after 14 months, 10 of them spent in intensive care. He was lucky. As the old saying goes, "Avoid it (hospitals) like the plague." This time, there actually is a plague.