C. diff infections increase readmissions, lengths of stay

Patients who develop Clostridium difficile infections are twice as likely to be readmitted to the hospital as patients who don't have C. diff, according to a study published in the American Journal of Infection Control.

Researchers from Detroit Medical Center also found patients with C. diff infections stay longer in the hospital upon readmission than patients who don't.

They analyzed 51,353 patient discharges from January through December 2012. Of those, 615 patients were discharged with a CDI diagnosis, including 318 who had CDI upon admission and 297 who were diagnosed while in the hospital.

They found that 30.1 percent of patients with CDI ended up back in the hospital after 30 days while just 14.4 percent of all-cause discharges did. Length of stay upon readmission was also longer for patients with CDI — 4.4 days longer for community-onset CDI cases and 6.4 days for hospital-onset CDI when compared to non-CDI readmissions.

"If nothing is done to try and curb CDI rates, healthcare systems may stand to face financial penalties because of high rates of hospital-acquired CDI and CDI-related readmissions for CMS-reportable conditions," said Teena Chopra, MD, the study leader.

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