C-Diff (Clostridium Difficle) is an infection that continues to rise in hospital patients each year. Recently, USA Today found that C-Diff was linked to 30,000 hospital deaths a year and effect half-million people a year in the U.S. C-Diff is an infection that affects the intestines and can be caused by antibiotics removing the healthy bacteria in a patient’s stomach making the patient susceptible to the infection. C-Diff can also be caused by a patient’s exposure to fecal contamination, which could happen with the patient is in the hospital. This type of contamination is most likely to occur certain surfaces of the patient’s hospital room is not properly cleaned.
C-Diff is a silent killer. As I said above it kills approximately 30,000 people a year and yet many people are unaware of this infection or how serious it is. Yet C-Diff can and should be controlled in the U.S. The number of deaths due to C-Diff can be reduced. The number of C-Diff infections can be reduced if hospitals are willing to make the investment. Many hospitals, both in the U.S. and aboard, have found success lower the rate of C-Diff by watching closely the antibiotics administered to patients which are likely to cause the infection and by implementing cleaning protocols meant to eliminate any outside contamination to the patient.
These are simple steps that every hospital can and should take in order to prevent C-Diff. However, stopping C-Diff goes beyond each individual hospital, the government should create regulations that will require: more accurate C-Diff reporting; antibiotic regulations; and help ensure that every hospital has specific cleaning protocols directed towards reducing C-Diff. The government can require that each individual hospital do their part to reduce C-Diff in the U.S. and in their patients.
All of these solutions will require investments by the hospitals and the agencies that will create and monitor the regulations, but at the end of the day it is more important to reduce C-Diff from taking so many lives. I believe that it is important that people understand that C-Diff and all people should be aware of it. The more people who are aware of what is happening with C-Diff, the greater the push we can make to prevent it. 30,000 deaths a year is too high of an amount to have when many of these deaths could potentially be prevented if greater care is taken to ensure that C-Diff no longer occurs at its current rate.
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