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This award-winning blog supplements the articles in Hospital Infection Control & Prevention.

Dramatic reduction of C. diff infections in UK an 'indictment' of U.S. struggles

The dramatic reduction of Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) in hospitals in the United Kingdom is putting considerable pressure on American infection preventionists and health care epidemiologists to follow suit with similar success. Yet despite increasing infection prevention efforts in many U.S. hospitals, CDI is giving ground grudgingly if at all, according to a new survey of infection preventionists by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

Though there are numerous caveats about comparing nationalized health care in the UK to the complex multi-payer system in the U.S., the striking success of the Brits in reducing CDI is nothing less than an “indictment” of infection control in the U.S, said Dale Gerding, MD, a long-time C. diff researcher and a leading international expert on the pathogen. An associate chief of staff for research at the Hines VA Hospital and professor of medicine at Loyola University of Chicago, Gerding made the damning observation recently in Baltimore at a C. diff meeting held by APIC.

“The incidence [of C. diff] is stable in the North American population, but the rates in UK and the EU have really declined,” he said. “I think it is an indictment of all of us in this room that we haven’t been able to do that.”

For full story see the April issue of Hospital Infection Control & Prevention