The Mayo Clinic has found a way to reduce the acquisition of hospital-acquired Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection rates (C. difficile can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon, and typically affects older adults in hospitals or in long-term care facilities).
The process involves consistent, daily cleaning of all high-touch surfaces with a spore-killing bleach disinfectant wipe for all patients on units with high endemic rates of C. difficile infection.
The hospital rooms in the study were part of two units that housed general, gastrointestinal, and pulmonary disease patients, averaging 39 patients a day. Each of these units had high endemic rates of this infection. When the study began, one unit’s infection frequency was 61 per 10,000 patient days. The other was higher, at 106 cases per 10,000 patient days.
Patients and staff reportedly tolerated this daily cleaning with the bleach wipes without significant concerns. Researchers concluded that this type of disinfection process was effective at reducing C. difficile infections on these units and should be instituted in other hospital units with high infection rates.