Every year, November is C. diff Awareness Month, driving education about this extremely dangerous microorganism and its impact on patients. It is also a time to review your manual disinfectants and UV disinfection products to ensure they are proven effective in inactivating C. difficile spores. Below are some basics about C. difficile spores and what to look for in effective products.
What is it?
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), C. difficile (also known as Clostridioides difficile or C. difficile) is a germ (bacterium) that causes severe diarrhea and colitis (an inflammation of the colon). It’s estimated to cause almost half a million infections in the United States each year and at least 14,000 deaths. About 1 in 6 patients who get C. difficile will get it again in the subsequent 2-8 weeks. One in 11 people over age 65 diagnosed with a healthcare-associated C. difficile infection die within one month. People who are most at-risk for getting C. difficile include older adults and patients who take antibiotics while receiving medical care. The antibiotics can kill the “good germs,” allowing C. difficile to grow.
C. difficile bacteria is found in feces and can be transmitted from person-to-person via high-touch surfaces such as light switches, bed rails, bed pans, linens, remote controls and light switches. Infection can occur if contaminated surfaces are touched prior to contact with mucous membranes or the mouth.
Decontamination of environmental surfaces
C. difficile spores are extremely hard-to-kill. Because of this, many commonly used manual cleaners, disinfectants and UV disinfection devices may not be effective against C. difficile spores. To assess the efficacy of UV disinfection devices’ evidence against C. difficile spores, it is key to review whether the claims are supported with independently generated evidence, conducted at real-world times and distances.
UVDI-360 Room Sanitizer with UV Smart Connect™
- Independent laboratory testing confirming 99.99% inactivation in 5 minutes at 8 feet or 2.44 meters.
- Peer-reviewed, published study on C. difficile transmission conducted by the University of Pennsylvania.
- Published clinical studies demonstrating inactivation of C. difficile spores from surfaces, conducted by UNC Health Care (Dr. William Rutala) and Cleveland Clinic (Dr. Curtis Donskey). Review the UVDI-360’s studies here.
UVDI-GO™ UV LED Surface Sanitizer
- Independent laboratory testing confirming 99.99% inactivation of C. difficile spores in 20 seconds from 4” or 10.2 cm distance. Learn more about the UVDI-GO here.
3 Pegues, D.A.; Han, J.; Gilmar, C.; Mcdonnell, B.; Gaynes, S. Impact of Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation for No-Touch Terminal Room Disinfection on Clostridium Difficile Infection Incidence Among HematologyOncology Patients. Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol.10, 2016
4 Rutala, W.A.; Gergen, M.F.; Tande, B.M.; Weber, D.J. Room Decontamination Using an Ultraviolet-C Device with Short Ultraviolet Exposure Time. Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2014, 35, 1070 -1072.
5 Deshpande, A.; Hartley, J.; Cadnum, J.; Jencson, A.; Sankar, T. Effectiveness of an Ultraviolet Light Decontamination Device in Reducing Hospital Room Contamination. SHEA (poster presentation); 2016.