Infection from Clostridium difficile is a patient safety concern in all types of medical facilities, not only hospitals as traditionally thought, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report found that while many healthcare-associated infections, such as bloodstream infections, declined during the past decade, C. difficile infection rates and deaths climbed to historic highs.
C. difficile is linked to about 14,000 U.S. deaths every year, according to the report. Those most at risk are people who take antibiotics and also receive care in any medical setting. Almost half of infections occur in people younger than 65, but more than 90% of deaths occur in people 65 and older.