Dealing with C. difficile in healthcare facilities

December 21, 2017

At the 5th annual international C. diff Awareness Conference & Health Expo, in Las Vegas, Maureen Spencer, RN, BSN, MEd, CiC, FAPIC, director of clinical implementation at Accelerate Diagnostics, spoke to Contagion Live about strategies to prevent and control the transmission of the disease within healthcare facilities.

Spencer said when dealing with C. diff patients, healthcare staff must clean the rooms with bleach because C. diff is disinfected by bleach or a sporicidal agent. Most healthcare facilities use bleach wipes and have the nurses clean high-touch surfaces and equipment before they go in and out of that room.

Housekeeping will clean the floor, the bed and the bathroom at discharge with a bleach solution.

"Environmental disinfection is particularly important. Something as simple as using commode liners on all commodes [is also important. ] That’s the problem with bathrooms in the intensive care unit (ICU): they have a toilet, and then they have an arm that comes down with a spray hose. Nurses will take the commode, if they don’t use a liner, pour the liquid feces into the toilet, spray hose it all over the environment, all over themselves, and flush it with no lid on the toilet, which sprays it 3 to 6 feet out of the toilet into the room.

“Getting hospitals to put lids back on the toilets, and nurses to use commode liners, can confine and contain the feces. In the emergency department and in the ICUs, all commodes should have a commode liner," she said in the interview. 

According to Spencer, newer technologies include dried hydrogen peroxide which can be put up in ventilation systems. It will take the moisture that's in the air and turn it into hydrogen peroxide, continually disinfecting the room.

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