Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

C. diff infections becoming more common, severe in children and elderly

Date:
October 22, 2012
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
Clostridium difficile infections are becoming more common and more severe in hospitalized children and the elderly, in large part due to greater use of antibiotics, researchers report.

Clostridium difficile infections are becoming more common and more severe in hospitalized children and the elderly, in large part due to greater use of antibiotics, Mayo Clinic researchers report in studies being presented at the American College of Gastroenterology annual meeting.

The bacterium, also known as C. difficile or C. diff, can cause an infection with symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon. It is the most common cause of diarrhea in hospitals and is linked to 14,000 U.S. deaths each year.

The Mayo study analyzed five years of data from the National Hospital Discharge Survey and found that of an estimated 13.7 million hospitalized children, the 46,176 with C. diff infections had significantly longer hospital stays, more instances of colectomy (partial or total removal of the colon), increased admission to long or short-term care facilities, and higher risk of death.

"Despite increased awareness of C. difficile in children, and advancements in management and prevention, this remains a major problem in hospitalized children," says Sahil Khanna, M.B.B.S., a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist.

Elderly patients also have a greater risk of complications from C. difficile and dying from the infection. In a separate study of 1.3 million adult patients hospitalized with C. diff, patients over 65 were in the hospital longer, sent to nursing homes more frequently and had a greater risk of death. That suggests being over age 65 is an independent risk factor for adverse outcomes associated with the infection.

Researchers say increased use of antibiotics is a main reason for the increasing infection rates. When a person takes antibiotics, good bacteria or flora that protect against infection are destroyed. When these bacteria are destroyed, patients are vulnerable to C. difficile picked up from contaminated surfaces or spread from a health care provider's hands.

Treatments depend on the severity and number of times a patient has had a C. diff infection. Typically, physicians will treat it with the antibiotic metronidazole or oral vancomycin. For severe cases and patients with recurrent C. diff, fecal transplants are an option. Stool transplant restores healthy intestinal bacteria by placing donor stool in the colon.

Recurrent C. difficile is a majore problem with the risk of recurrence being 20 percent after a first infection and as much as 60 percent after multiple infections. People who have had C. difficile are twice as likely to get it again. Other known risk factors include proton-pump inhibitors for gastric reflux, immunosuppression, and long hospital stays.

It costs at least $1 billion annually to treat C. difficile infections.

Prevention measures include:

  • Washing hands frequently with soap and warm water in the event of a C. difficile outbreak; alcohol-based hand sanitizers may not destroy C. diff spores.
  • Patients hospitalized with C. difficile should have a private room or share a room with someone else who has it. Hospital staff and visitors should wear disposable gloves and gowns while in the room.
  • Thoroughly cleaning surfaces with a product that contains chlorine bleach.
  • Avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics.
  • When on antibiotics, take probiotics to help restore balance to the intestinal tract.

Other study authors include Mallika Gupta, M.B.B.S., Larry Baddour, M.D., and Darrell Pardi, M.D.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mayo Clinic. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "C. diff infections becoming more common, severe in children and elderly." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121022081219.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2012, October 22). C. diff infections becoming more common, severe in children and elderly. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121022081219.htm
Mayo Clinic. "C. diff infections becoming more common, severe in children and elderly." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121022081219.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins