C. diff. Survivors Possess the Warmth and Light For Others

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Winter is in full force now, the colder, shorter days of January remind us of the warmth and light that so many individuals yearn for, but sadly cannot find.

Do you know of someone in need?  A spouse, child, parent, neighbor, or co-worker, who may be struggling right now with loneliness, doubt, fear, or fighting a C. diff. infection? Maybe they have lost their job, their home, their health, their family, a loved one………….

As a C. diff. survivor you possess the warmth and light that another so desperately needs.  You can turn winter’s drab branches into the bright blooms of spring.  How?

You can share your story and suggestions with them!  You can bring them light far brighter than any they can imagine – you are the light of hope for others.

By your participation in the C. diff. Survivors Alliance Network – you are a survivor’s light.  It is a gift that is given and received each and every day here at the C. diff. Survivors Alliance Network and C Diff Foundation.  It is countless inquiries, emails, phone calls, personal correspondence, visits from a CDF Volunteer and the support you share through your stories that give others the hope they so desperately need.

Here is an emotional note received from a fellow C. diff. Survivor:

Dear C Diff Foundation, Your letter and information you shared has re-ignited the sparks of hope within me which had long been dormant and cold, overwhelmed by grief, trauma, and losses. Too much sickness, too little happiness.  I had to take a deep breath to hold back the tears upon receiving the support you have all given me.  It was more than I had hoped for.

This is the kind of life saving impact that you have here at the C. diff. Survivors Alliance Network.

Please continue your participation on our site this year as a guiding light for others to see. We invite you to send your stories, suggestions, and healing words ………  a glimmer of light and hope from and for a fellow C. diff. survivor.

www.cdiffsurvivors.org

C. diff. CDC Reports That Progress Is Being Made in Infection Control in U.S. Hospitals

C. diff. CDC Reports On Major Healthcare-Associated Infections – Progress Being Made In Infection Control In U.S. Hospitals

Progress Being Made in Infection Control in U.S. Hospitals; Continued Improvements Needed

Progress has been made in the effort to eliminate infections that commonly threaten hospital patients, including a 46 percent decrease in central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) between 2008 and 2013, according to a report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  However, additional work is needed to continue to improve patient safety.

CDC’s Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) progress report is a snapshot of how each state and the country are doing in eliminating six infection types that hospitals are required to report to CDC. For the first time, this year’s HAI progress report includes state-specific data about hospital lab-identified methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bloodstream infections and Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infections (deadly diarrhea).

Preventing infections in the first place means that patients will not need antibiotics to treat those infections.  This can help to slow the rise of antibiotic resistance and avoid patient harm from unnecessary side-effects and C. difficile infections, which are associated with antibiotic use. Continued progress and expanded efforts to prevent HAIs will support the response to the threat of antibiotic resistance

The annual National and State Healthcare-associated infection Infection Progress Report expands upon and provides an update to previous reports detailing progress toward the goal of eliminating HAIs. The report summarizes data submitted to CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN), the nation’s healthcare-associated infection tracking system, which is used by more than 14,500 health care facilities across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Healthcare-associated infections are a major, yet often preventable, threat to patient safety. On any given day, approximately one in 25 U.S. patients has at least one infection contracted during the course of their hospital care, demonstrating the need for improved infection control in U.S. healthcare facilities.

“Hospitals have made real progress to reduce some types of healthcare-associated infections – it can be done,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “The key is for every hospital to have rigorous infection control programs to protect patients and healthcare workers, and for health care facilities and others to work together to reduce the many types of infections that haven’t decreased enough.”

This report focuses on national and state progress in reducing infections occurring within acute care hospitals.

Although not covered by the report released today, the majority of C. difficile infections and MRSA infections develop in the community or are diagnosed in healthcare settings other than hospitals.

Other recent reports on infections caused by germs such as MRSA and C. difficile suggest that infections in hospitalized patients only account for about one-third of all the healthcare-associated infections.

Tracking National Progress On the national level, the report found a:

  • 46 percent decrease in central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) between 2008 and 2013. A central line-associated bloodstream infection occurs when a tube is placed in a large vein and either not put in correctly or not kept clean, becoming a highway for germs to enter the body and cause deadly infections in the blood.
  • 19 percent decrease in surgical site infections (SSI) related to the 10 select procedures tracked in the report between 2008 and 2013. When germs get into the surgical wound, patients can get a surgical site infection involving the skin, organs, or implanted material.
  • 6 percent increase in catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) since 2009; although initial data from 2014 seem to indicate that these infections have started to decrease. When a urinary catheter is either not put in correctly, not kept clean, or left in a patient for too long, germs can travel through the catheter and infect the bladder and kidneys.
  • 8 percent decrease in MRSA bloodstream infections between 2011 and 2013.
  • 10 percent decrease in C. difficile infections between 2011 and 2013. 

Research shows that when healthcare facilities, care teams, and individual doctors and nurses, are aware of infection control problems and take specific steps to prevent them, rates of targeted HAIs can decrease dramatically.

Data for Local Action The report provides data that can be used by hospitals to target improvements in patient safety in their facilities. For example, together with professional partners, CDC, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Improvement Organizations and Partnership for Patients initiative, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP) increased attention to the prevention of catheter-associated urinary tract infections, resulting in a reversal of the recent increase seen in these infections. CAUTI data for early 2014 demonstrating these improvements will be publicly available on the CMS Hospital Compare website in 2015. CDC is also working to use HAI data to help identify specific hospitals and wards that can benefit from additional infection control expertise.

“Healthcare-associated infection data give healthcare facilities and public health agencies knowledge to design, implement and evaluate HAI prevention efforts,” said Patrick Conway, Deputy Administrator for Innovation and Quality and Chief Medical Officer of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services. “Medicare’s quality measurement reporting requires hospitals to share this information with the CDC, demonstrating that, together, we can dramatically improve the safety and quality of care for patients.”

“Successful programs such as CUSP demonstrate that combining sound HAI data with effective interventions to prevent these infections can have enormous impact,” said AHRQ Director Richard Kronick, Ph.D.

State Data  Not all states reported or had enough data to calculate valid infection information on every infection in this report. The number of infections reported was compared to a national baseline.

In the report, among 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, 26 states performed better than the nation on at least two of the six infection types tracked by state (CLABSI, CAUTI, MRSA, C. difficile, and SSI after colon surgery and abdominal hysterectomy). Sixteen states performed better than the nation on three or more infections, including six states performing better on four infections. In addition, 19 states performed worse than the nation on two infections, with eight states performing worse on at least three infections.

The national baseline will be reset at the end of 2015. Starting in 2016, HAI prevention progress from 2016-2020 will be measured in comparison to infection data from 2015.

The federal government considers elimination of healthcare-associated infections a top priority and has a number of ongoing efforts to protect patients and improve healthcare quality.

CDC provides expertise and leadership in publishing evidence-based infection prevention guidelines, housing the nation’s healthcare-associated infection laboratories, responding to health care facility outbreaks, and tracking infections in these facilities.

Other federal and non-federal partners are actively working to accelerate the ongoing prevention progress across the country. In collaboration with CDC, these agencies use data and expertise to mount effective prevention programs and guide their work.

Source:  CDC

January 14, 2015

Remembering All C. diff. Survivors With Warm Thoughts and Gratitude In The New Year

2014 is coming to a close and 2015 is just a few hours away.CDIFF2015wordss

 

As the New Year approaches, our thoughts turn gratefully to those who have helped us in our progress and the progress of our communities.  It is in this spirit we say, simply and sincerely,  thank you.

 

 

Thank you for everything big and small you do to help make the C Diff Foundation a better resource in the lives of others, providing support, and for joining us in raising C. diff. awareness to the millions of families, healthcare providers, communities, and friends worldwide.

We are a giving Foundation and a lot of that giving is facilitated through each of you.  Giving makes a difference and there are so many different ways to give.  Whether it is through presentations at a conference,  sharing your journey with others, joining the Foundation’s volunteer program, or donating time in November for the “Raising C Diff Awareness” campaign in communities across the globe the partnered efforts and contributions are greatly appreciated. Through the many facets of giving and charitable support, the Foundation’s mission continues to move forward in educating, and advocating for C. diff. prevention, treatments, and environmental safety worldwide.

From all of us to all of you and your families,  we send our best wishes for a peaceful, happier, healthier, and successful 2015!

Thank you and Happy New Year.

C. diff. Survivor; Kristin Evans

Kristin’s C. diff. Survivor Story:
I contracted c.diff. when I had my gallbladder taken out in July of 2012. I was experiencing a lot of abdominal pain and diarrhea but attributed it to my body adjusting without the organ I went to the ER around 21 times over a year and a half before I was finally diagnosed with C.diff.
After that began the real journey, after loosing over 100 pounds in a year which took me from a size 10 to a size double 0 my doctor decided the repeated rounds of Vancomycin were not fighting the infection he suggested a fecal transplant. I was very confident in this procedure as I had only heard amazing and positive things about it.
I had the transplant done and waited a month to be checked again as I was told to by my doctor. I went in and of course the transplant failed. I was then put on more vanco and told to stay on it for another month then they would check me again.
Another 2 weeks went by and I was emergency admitted to the local hospital because my body had begun to shut down and my organs were beginning to fail. I was on full isolation for 2 weeks until the declared me c.diff. free. I was told sent home with a new problem caused by the c.diff. though.
I now had enlarged lymph nodes and they would not go down so I had an oncologist look at them and told me I had a possibility of Hodgkins Lymphoma and was scheduled for a lymphectomy a month later. After surgery I was cleared from cancer but I had contracted c.diff. back because of the surgery.
I was then diagnosed with chronic c.diff. and told we would try another transplant to try and kill the infection that was slowly killing me again.
The second *fecal transplant was again a failure and I was put on vanco for another year before I told my doctor I was going to die if he didn’t help me.
I had survived almost 3 years fighting this battle and my body was physically and mentally drained. I was tired of fighting, so he made the decision to hospitalize me again to try and cure this once and for all. I was in for almost a week before I was declared once again C.diff. free.
It has now been less than a month since my release and I am learning to deal with my new medical problems caused by c.diff. including gastroenteritis, ulcerative colitis, severe chronic IBS and permanent bowel damage.
I have been to the ER a total of 46 times throughout my journey with c.diff. and am still continuing to get my body back to way it needs to be with my weight and my eating which has become difficult due to the bowel damage.
But i will not give up and i will survive and fight this if it ever returns i will not let c.diff. take my life. Thanks for reading my story guys.