Report out on Clostridium Difficile infections

On 19 April 2013, a group of health experts from the European Union launched in Brussels the report on Clostridium Difficile Infection (CDI). Cristina Padeanu, project officer, represented EPF at the meeting. This initiative is part of broader efforts on the part of the European Union to address patient safety issues such as antimicrobial resistance.The Clostridium Difficile is bacteria species that causes severe diarrhoea and other life-threatening complications. The report says that CDI represents approximately 60% of gastrointestinal infections developed in hospitals. It represents approximately 9% of all healthcare acquired infections. 

EPF is concerned about Clostridium Difficile infections as it is a patients’ safety issue.  The infection occurs usually in association with the provision of healthcare. However people can develop the infection outside the hospital when moving to the community settings or acquiring it in these settings, mostly nursing homes.

The principal factors that increase the risk of CDI are related to chronic underlying illness, recent hospitalisation, advances age and recent use of antibiotics. CDI is a particular risk for patients with kidney disease, those treated for cancer, and for other groups whose immunity against infections is compromised, e.g. organ donation, stem cell transplantation or HIV infection.

The report also provides important arguments in favour of the Council Recommendation of 9 June 2009 on patient safety. It includes the prevention and control of healthcare associated infections, which aims at strengthening the patient safety measures.

Possible collaboration with health experts involved in the report is envisaged to promote the good practices identified in the Joint Action on Patient Safety and Quality of Care (JA PaSQ) project.

For more information, you can contact Cristina Padeanu, EPF Project Officer.