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Clostridium difficile Infection in Long-term Care Facilities: A Call to Action for Antimicrobial Stewardship

Teena Chopra, Ellie J C Goldstein
Clinical Infectious Diseases: An Official Publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America 2015 May 15, 60 Suppl 2: S72-6
25922404
Across the United States, the baby boomers are entering into their elderly years. As they are America's largest generation to do so to date, their need for care will greatly affect nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and long-term acute-care hospitals (LTACHs). Unfortunately, the rise of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), particularly in extended-care facilities, might become the biggest obstacle in their care. Elderly extended-care-facility residents are at an elevated risk of CDI simply due to their advanced age and the fact that they are receiving care in an extended-care facility. LTACHs experience a high incidence rate of CDI, and these infections can lead to major complications for a patient's health. Other factors that contribute to higher risk for CDI include receiving multiple courses of antibiotics, longer length of antibiotic treatment, and previous CDI. Although this obstacle to proper care is great, some simple solutions are available to healthcare providers. Probiotics may help improve natural immunity in patients, and strict adherence to antimicrobial stewardship standards could help reduce this serious bacterial threat.

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