Skip to main content

C. difficile hits new high in hospitals. Deaths up 467%

A new report from the CDC ( the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) states that the  incidence, mortality, and medical care costs for C. difficile infections have reached historic highs.

From 2000 to 2009, the number of hospitalized patients with any C. difficile diagnoses more than doubled, from approximately 139,000 to 336,600, and the number with a primary C. difficile diagnosis more than tripled, from 33,000 to 111,000.

The estimated number of deaths attributed to C. difficile increased from 3,000 deaths per year during 1999–2000 to 14,000 during 2006–2007. Ontario still refuses to report hospital deaths associated with C. difficile or other superbugs.  If the number is proportionate to the US figure, about 600 deaths would be attributed to C. difficile per year. 

The CDC estimates "excess health-care costs" of hospital-onset C. difficile at $5,042–$7,179 per case with a national annual estimated excess health-care cost of $897 million to $1.3 billion

Much of the recent increase in the incidence and mortality of C. difficile is attributed by the CDC to the emergence and spread of a hypervirulent, resistant strain of C. difficile that produces greater quantities of toxins and that has additional factors enhancing its virulence.  

The CDC adds that "many of these infections can be prevented". 

The CDC notes:   "Health-care environmental services have a key role in reducing contamination that can directly transmit to patients or contaminate the hands of health-care personnel.   Because C. difficile spores resist killing by usual hospital disinfectants, an Environmental Protection Agency–registered disinfectant with a C. difficile sporicidal label claim should be used to augment thorough physical cleaning."


  1. I was in the North York General Hospital, dirty surgical ward in February of this year....I went in with acute divorticulousis and diabets...and ended up with C-Diff hospital acquired. What a nightmare, when I was released, I was wiped right out, slept for 12 hours, couldn't do anything for 5 weeks, lost 25 lbs...but thank God I made it. Wonder how patients of other hospitals filed law suits? Market place did a story on housekeeping of hospitals several months ago...they were right on, hospitals need to do some real serious cleaning to protect the patients and vistors. l Reeves


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Public sector employment in Ontario is far below the rest of Canada

The suggestion that Ontario has a deficit because its public sector is too large does not bear scrutiny. Consider the following. 

Public sector employment has fallen in the last three quarters in Ontario.  Since 2011, public sector employment has been pretty flat, with employment up less than 4 tenths of one percent in the first half of 2015 compared with the first half of 2011.

This contrasts with public sector employment outside of Ontario which has gone up pretty consistently and is now 4.7% higher than it was in the first half of 2011.

Private sector employment has also gone up consistently over that period. In Ontario, it has increased 4.3% since the first half of 2011, while in Canada as a whole it has increased 4.9%.

As a result, public sector employment in Ontario is now shrinking as a percentage of the private sector workforce.  In contrast, in the rest of Canada, it is increasing. Moreover, public sector employment is muchhigher in the rest of Canada than in Ontario.  Indeed as…

The long series of failures of private clinics in Ontario

For many years, OCHU/CUPE has been concerned the Ontario government would transfer public hospital surgeries, procedures and diagnostic tests to private clinics. CUPE began campaigning in earnest against this possibility in the spring of 2007 with a tour of the province by former British Health Secretary, Frank Dobson, who talked about the disastrous British experience with private surgical clinics.

The door opened years ago with the introduction of fee-for-service hospital funding (sometimes called Quality Based Funding). Then in the fall of 2013 the government announced regulatory changes to facilitate this privatization. The government announced Request for Proposals for the summer of 2014 to expand the role of "Independent Health Facilities" (IHFs). 

With mass campaigns to stop the private clinic expansion by the Ontario Health Coalition the process slowed.  

But it seems the provincial Liberal government continues to push the idea.  Following a recent second OCHU tour wi…

Hospital worker sick leave: too much or too little?

Ontario hospital workers are muchless absent due to illness or disability than hospital workers Canada-wide.  In 2014, Ontario hospital workers were absent 10.2 days due to illness or disability, 2.9 days less than the Canada wide average – i.e. 22% less.  In fact, Ontario hospital workers have had consistently fewer sick days for years.

This is also true if absences due to family or personal responsibilities are included.
Statistics Canada data for the last fifteen years for Canada and Ontario are reported in the chart below, showing Ontario hospital workers are consistently off work less.
Assuming, Ontario accounts for about 38% of the Canada-wide hospital workforce, these figures suggest that the days lost due to illness of injury in Canada excluding Ontario are about 13.6 days per year ([13.6 x 0.68] + [10.2 x 0.38] = 13.1).

In other words, hospital workers in the rest of Canada are absent from work due to illness or disability 1/3 more than Ontario hospital workers. 

In fact, Canad…