Monday, January 27, 2014

Contamination of Hands with C.difficile after Patient Care

Here is a recent study on the contamination of healthcare worker hands with viable C.difficile spores after caring for patients with C.difficile associated diarrhea.

C. difficile spores were detected on 24% of HCWs' hands in the exposed group and on 0% in the unexposed group. Logistic regression, which adjusted for high-risk contact (ie, exposure to fecal soiling), contact with the environment, and contact with or without use of gloves, revealed that high-risk contact (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] per 1 contact increment, 2.78; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.42-5.45; and at least 1 contact without use of gloves (aOR, 6.26; 95% CI, 1.27-30.78; were independently associated with HCW hand contamination by C. difficile spores.

The take home message: not wearing gloves (as recommended) when taking care of patients with C.difficile associated diarrhea results in a high rate of healthcare worker hand colonization with viable C.difficile spores.

Wear your gloves (and gown) when caring for patients with  C.difficile associated diarrhea and wash your hands with soap and water afterwards to physically remove the spores from your hands. 

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