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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


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