Friday, December 23, 2016 Written by Cepheid

Just the Facts

FACT.

A USA Today investigation for an August 2012 cover story asserted that rates of death and illness from C. difficile infection are much higher than national reports have shown because the 14,000 deaths that the CDC reported in their most recent report are based on information from death certificates — which often don’t list C. difficile when patients die from complications of the infection, such as kidney failure.*

 

FACT.

C. difficile bacteria is linked in hospital records to more than 30,000 deaths a year in the United States — about twice federal estimates and rivaling the 32,000 killed in traffic accidents. It strikes about a half-million Americans a year..*

FACT.

Hospital billing data collected by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality shows that more than 9% of C. diff-related hospitalizations end in death, which is nearly five times the death rate for other hospital stays.*

FACT.

In 2009, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched an “action plan” to reduce six high-priority infections, including C. difficile. Infection rates for five of the targeted infections have dropped significantly, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. Rates for C. difficile,which was targeted for a 30% reduction by 2013, haven’t budged.

* All Facts from a August 16, 2012 USA Today cover story titled “Far more could be done to stop the deadly bacteria C. diff” by Peter Eisler.