Aerosolized hydrogen peroxide cuts C. diff infection risk

Adding aerosolized hydrogen peroxide to infection prevention protocols reduces the risk of Clostridioides difficile infections in healthcare settings, according to a study published March 17 in the American Journal of Infection Control.

Researchers evaluated the effectiveness of a system that generates an aerosolized dry-mist fog containing a certain percentage of hydrogen peroxide. The fog covers all exposed surfaces and is meant to kill any C. diff spores that remain after surface cleaning. The team conducted a retrospective study analyzing C. diff infection rates at a large, acute-care hospital in Philadelphia over a 10-year period to evaluate the effectiveness of an aerosol system at reducing infections by comparing incidence rates prior to and after implementation of the system. 

They found consistent use of the disinfection system in addition to standard room-cleaning procedures helped reduce infection rates. Before implementing the system, the Philadelphia hospital had 120 healthcare-associated C. diff infections over a 27-month period. There were 72 cases over a 33-month period after implementing the system, reflecting a 41 percent decrease in the facility's infection rate from 4.6 per 10,000 patient days to 2.7 per 10,000 days. In the second half of the study, the rate was further reduced to 1.4 per 10,000 patient days.

"Our study showed that persistence in utilizing an aerosolized hydrogen peroxide system had a significant impact on reducing C. difficile infections hospital-wide," said Christopher Truitt, PhD, lead study author and associate professor of chemistry at Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas.

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