Infections with the intestinal superbug C. difficile nearly doubled from 2001 to 2010 in U.S. hospitals without noticeable improvement in patient mortality rates or hospital lengths of stay, according to a study of 2.2 million C. difficile infection (CDI) cases recently published in the American Journal of Infection Control. In the retrospective study from The University of Texas College of Pharmacy, researchers analyzed 10 years of data from the U.S. National Hospital Discharge Surveys. From 2001 to 2010, rates of CDI among hospitalized adults rose from 4.5 to 8.2 CDI discharges per 1,000 total adult hospital discharges.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), C. difficile is the most common bacteria responsible for causing healthcare-associated infections in U.S. hospitals and is linked to 14,000 deaths each year. Reducing the use of high-risk, broad-spectrum antibiotics by 30 percent could lower CDI by 26 percent, the CDC estimates. The White House recently announced a new Executive Order and National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic-resistant Bacteria, which emphasized the need for antibiotic stewardship programs to help clinicians improve prescribing practices.
Of the 2.2 million adult CDI discharges, 33 percent had a principal diagnosis of CDI; 67 percent were classified as secondary CDI, meaning that CDI was not the primary reason they were hospitalized. Approximately 7.1 percent, or 154,184 patients, died during the study period.
Antibiotic resistance and stewardship is the theme of International Infection Prevention Week, led by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), October 19-25, 2014. A free webinar and Twitter chat are being offered, along with an infographic poster for consumers, “The ABC's of Antibiotics.” Read the study.Read more