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C. difficile (Clostridium difficile) - Reporting

What are hospital acquired infections? 
Sometimes when patients are admitted to a hospital, they get infections. These are called hospital acquired infections. In the case of Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile), this may mean that symptoms began 72 hours after admission to the hospital or the infection was present at the time of admission, but was related to a previous admission to that hospital within the last four weeks. 
What is C. difficile? 
C. difficile (Clostridioides difficile) is a bacteria. C. difficile can be part of the normal bacteria in the large intestine. A C. difficile infection occurs when other good bacteria in the bowel are eliminated or decreased allowing the C. difficile bacteria to grow and produce toxin. The toxin produced can damage the bowel and cause diarrhea. C. difficile is one example of a hospital acquired infection and is one of the most common infections found in hospitals and long-term care facilities. 
What are the symptoms of C. difficile? 
The usual symptoms are mild, but can be severe for some patients. Main symptoms are watery diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain/tenderness. Blood may or may not be present in the stool. 
How do you get C. difficile? 
C. difficile is the most common cause of hospital associated infectious diarrhea. Since it can be part of the normal bacteria that live in the large intestine, taking antibiotics can change the normal bacteria in your large intestine making it easier for C. difficile to grow and cause an infection. Old age and the presence of other serious illnesses may increase the risk of C. difficile. Healthy people are not usually susceptible to C. difficile. 
How is C. difficile treated? 
Treatment depends on how sick you are. People with mild symptoms may not need treatment. For more severe cases, antibiotics are required. 
What precautions are used to prevent C. difficile in the hospital? 
Safety is one of Ontario Shores'  core values,  and we have implemented a number of initiatives to enhance the safety for patients, staff and the community. 

Our Infection Prevention and Control department has provided hand hygiene and core competencies training for the majority of our staff and patients. They conduct a daily review of all patients and have launched the Ministry of Long-Term Care's "Just Clean your Hands" campaign. 
In the event there is a hospital acquired infection, staff are properly trained to watch for symptoms and follow proper protocols when treating the patient.

C. difficile Infection Rates

Health care associated CDI rate per 1000 patient days.

 2021 - 20222022 - 20232023 - 2024

See reporting at the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.

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