Publically Reported Indicators
Clostridium difficile (C.Diff)
As of September 26, 2008, all hospitals in Ontario are mandated to publicly report on their C. difficile rates.
The C. difficile infection rate is calculated as a rate per 1,000 patient days. The "total patient days" represents the sum of the number of days during which services were provided to all inpatients during the given time period.
The rate is calculated as follows:
Number of new hospital acquired cases of C. difficile in our facility x 1000
Total number of patient days (for one month)
Click here to view Patient Safety Indicator Public Reporting
What is Clostridium difficile (C. difficile)?
Clostridium difficile also known as, C. difficile or C diff, is a
bacteria that can be found in stool (a bowel movement). C. difficile disease
occurs when antibiotics kill your good bowel bacteria and allow the C.
difficile to grow. When C. difficile grows, it produces toxins that can damage
the bowel and may cause diarrhea.
What are the
The usual symptoms are mild but can be severe. Main
symptoms are watery diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain /tenderness. In some cases
there may not be diarrhea. Blood may or may not be present in the stools. In
severe cases, surgery may be needed and in extreme cases C. difficile may cause
How do I get it?
C. difficile is the
most common cause of hospital infectious diarrhea. It can be part of the normal
bacteria that live in the large intestine. Taking antibiotics can change the
normal balance of bacteria in your large intestine making it easier for C.
difficile to grow and cause an infection. Old age and the presence of other
serious illnesses may increase the risk of C. difficile disease.
How will the Doctor know I have it?
If a C. difficile
infection is suspected, you will be asked to give a stool sample that will be
tested for the bacteria and/or its toxins. Most importantly, patients and
hospital visitors should pay particular attention to good hand hygiene and
follow the instructions given to you by the health care staff.
How does C diff spread?
The germs in the stool can soil
surfaces like toilets, handles, bedpans and commode chairs. When touching these
items, your hands can become soiled. If you then touch your mouth, you can
swallow the germ. Your soiled hands can spread germs that can survive for a long
time on other surfaces if not properly cleaned.
precautions are used to prevent spread in hospital?
You may be placed
in a private room until you are free from diarrhea for at least 72 hours. Your
activities outside the room may be limited. Ask your nurse if you have any
questions about hand hygiene. Hands must be washed after using the toilet or
bedpan, before eating, before entering the room and before leaving the room.
Signs are placed on the outside of your door called Contact Isolation. Staff and
visitors must wear gowns and gloves if they expect to come in contact with you
and upon entering the room. Sometimes equipment may be left in your room solely
for you to use. Thorough cleaning of your room and equipment will be regularly
Will I be treated?
on how sick you are with the disease. Mild diarrhea may stop as soon as the
antibiotics are no longer taken. More serious diarrhea may require treatment.
Your doctor will order an antibiotic (usually flagyl) to be taken by mouth.
What should I do at
Wash your hands
with soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds:
• After using the toilet
• After touching dirty surfaces
• Before eating
• Before preparing
Cleaning the House
Use a household
cleaner diluted according to the manufacturer instructions or diluted bleach:
• Wet the surface well and clean using good friction
• Allow the surface
to air dry
• Pay special attention to surfaces that may be soiled with stool
such as the toilet and sink. Remove stool first before cleaning.
Cleaning Clothes and Other Fabric
Wash clothes separately
if soiled with stool
• Rinse stool off
• Clean in a hot water cycle
• Dry items in dryer if possible
Regular cleaning, you can use the
dishwasher or clean by hand with soap and water.
It is very important
that you take all your medication prescribed by your doctor. You should not use
any medication to stop the diarrhea (i.e., Imodium). If diarrhea persists or comes
back, contact your doctor.
Can I give this to my
family or friends?
Healthy people who are not taking antibiotics are
at very low risk of getting the bacteria. Their best protection is to wash their
hands before and after visiting patients in hospital and following the
precautions posted. Other patients in the hospital are at greater risk of
getting C. difficile infection.
For more information about C. Diff Disease, please go to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention