Clostridium Difficile

This information explains infection with Clostridium difficile (C. diff), including how it’s spread and how it’s treated.

Who is at risk for a C. diff infection?

C. diff infections occur more often in people who:

  • Are older
  • Have weakened immune systems
  • Have chronic illnesses, such as cancer and diabetes
  • Have been treated with antibiotics in the past
  • Have had abdominal surgery
  • Have had repeated or long stays in the hospital
  • Have low stomach acid or have taken antacids (medication to reduce stomach acid)
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What isolation precautions are taken in the hospital if I have a C. diff infection?

Isolation precautions are steps we take to stop infections from spreading from person to person. If you’re diagnosed with C. diff infection while you’re in the hospital:

  • You will be placed in a private room.
  • A sign will be posted on your door telling all staff and visitors to clean their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before going into and after leaving your room.
  • All staff and visitors will need to wear a yellow gown and gloves while in your room. These are available outside of your room and can be disposed of inside your room.
  • If you leave your room for tests, you must wear a yellow gown and gloves, or be covered with a clean sheet.
  • If you leave your room to walk around the unit, you must wear a yellow gown and gloves.
  • You will not be able to go to the following areas of the hospital:
    • Pantry on your unit
    • Recreation center on M15
    • Pediatric recreation areas on M9
    • Cafeteria
    • Main lobby
    • Any other public area of the hospital
  • You can have art or massage therapy in your room while following isolation precautions.

You can stop following these precautions after you received treatment and no longer have symptoms.

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