News, Skilled Nursing Facility

New guidelines make significant changes to management of C. Difficile

Clostridium difficile or C. diff is a deadly, treatment-resistant infection and the most important cause of healthcare-associated diarrhea. Adults who are 65 years and older and in a long-term care facilities are especially at risk for the highly contagious infection.

Earlier this year, a panel of experts was convened to update the 2010 clinical practice guidelines on C. diff infection (CDI). The panel published recommendations to improve the management and diagnosis of CDI, including the recommendation that fecal transplants be used to treat CDI in patients who have repeatedly not responded to standard treatments of the infection. The fecal transplant involves transferring donor fecal matter to the infected patient.

This recommendation supports ongoing efforts to reduce antibiotic usage among long-term care residents. Another change made by the panel recommends that the previously suggested treatment—metronidazole—be replaced by vancomycin or fidaxomicin. This recommendation comes after studies showed that metronidazole is less effective.

The new guidelines were issued by the Infectious Diseases Society of America.