How can C. difficile-associated disease be prevented in hospitals and other healthcare settings?
- Use antibiotics judiciously
Use Contact Precautions: for patients with known or suspected C. difficile-associated disease:
Place these patients in private rooms.If private rooms are not available, these patients can be placed in rooms (cohorted) with other patients with C. difficile-associated disease.
Perform Hand Hygiene using either an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
If your institution experiences an outbreak, consider using only soap and water for hand hygiene when caring for patients with C. difficile-associated disease; alcohol-based hand rubs may not be as effective against spore-forming bacteria.
- Use gloves when entering patients’ rooms and during patient care.
Use gowns if soiling of clothes is likely.
Dedicate equipment whenever possible.
CONTINUE THESE PRECAUTIONS UNTIL DIARRHEA CEASES
Implement an environmental cleaning and disinfection strategy:
- Ensure adequate cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces and reusable devices, especially items likely to be contaminated with feces and surfaces that are touched frequently.
Use an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered hypochlorite-based disinfectant for environmental surface disinfection after cleaning in accordance with label instructions; generic sources of hypochlorite (e.g., household chlorine bleach) also may be appropriately diluted and used. (Note: alcohol-based disinfectants are not effective against C. difficile and should not be used to disinfect environmental surfaces.)
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for disinfection of endoscopes and other devices
Infection control practices in long term care and home health settings are similar to those practices taken in traditional health-care settings