Case Studies in Infection
Training in Infection Control
The Bug Blog
Page updated 5th March 2007
Patients with diarrhoea should be isolated unless a non infective cause has been identified for their diarrhoea.
Patients should be given priority for isolation and where possible isolated on the ward where the diarrhoea commenced.
Patients with diarrhoea and who are CDT positive must be isolated in a single room preferably with an en-suite toilet and washing facilities. If an en-suite is not available a commode should be provided for their sole use.
The door of the room should be closed and an isolation notice placed on the door.
If the patient is required to leave the room for diagnostic or treatment purposes the infection control team should be contacted for advice. It is not advisable to move the patient from the room whilst they have active diarrhoea particularly if they are incontinent.
Should the patient required transfer to other clinical areas (e.g. x-ray, theatres) then the patients C. difficile status must be declared in advance to allow appropriate arrangements to be made to prevent the spread of infection.
Always use disposable gloves and aprons for direct patient contact or contact with their environment. It is particularly important to use gloves and aprons when handling body excretions.
Soap and water must be used for hand hygiene. Alcohol based disinfectants do not destroy C.difficile spores.
Patients with C. difficile infection can be removed from isolation after 48 hours without diarrhoea. There is no requirement to submit a faeces sample for testing.
Dispose of urine or faeces in the bed pan washer or macerator as rapidly as possible.
Use normal china and cutlery and machine dish wash.
Equipment such as blood pressure monitor, commode, temperature probe etc should be used only on that patient. If the equipment is taken for use elsewhere it should be effectively decontaminated - this would normally be with a chlorine based disinfectant or via the sterile service department.
Linen should be placed in a red linen bag and double bagged.
Waste should be placed in a yellow waste bag.
Visitors who do not assist in patient care and who have minimal patient contact do not need to wear gloves and apron. Visitors who assist in patient care should wear gloves and aprons. All visitors should wash their hands with soap and water before they leave the room. Visitors should not eat or drink in the vicinity of the patient.