Report: Antibiotic overuse doubled C. diff rates

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

October 1, 2014

A new report suggests that the rate of C. difficile infections in U.S. hospitals nearly doubled between 2001 and 2010 without any noticeable improvements in patient mortality rates or length of hospital stays, according to a report in Food Safety News magazine.

According to the report, the study published in October issue of the American Journal of Infection Control says that researchers from the University of Texas College of Pharmacy examined 10 years of discharge data and found that the C. diff infection rate rose from 4.5 to 8.2 discharges of those with a history of the intestinal bug per 1,000 adults released from hospitals.

According to CDC sources quoted in the report, some 14,000 deaths a year are attributed to C. diff infections, and that reducing the use of some antibiotics in hospitals could reduce deaths from the infection by approximately 30%.