Preventing Clostridioides Difficile Infections

Clostridioides difficile infections (CDI) are a major cause of healthcare-associated infections. CDI can be prevented by performing hand hygiene with soap and water, following Enteric Precautions for patients with known or suspected disease, practicing antimicrobial stewardship, thorough environmental cleaning, and diagnostic stewardship. Learn more at the link.

Diagnostic stewardship refers to using an evidence base when ordering tests.  Some patients may be asymptomatically colonized with C. difficile so it is important to ensure that testing for CDI is performed only on those with clinically significant symptoms. Patients 2 years of age and older should be tested for CDI when they have experienced 3 or more liquid stools in 24 hours without another known medical reason.  The patient should not receive laxatives or stool softeners in the 48 hours prior to testing, although there may be cases in which testing is still indicated for patients receiving these medications. Please view this infographic for more information on diagnostic stewardship and CDI. Learn more about infection prevention efforts at UNC Hospitals here.