Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) is the main healthcare acquired infection (HCAI) in the US. It is responsible for 14,000 deaths and an attributable cost of $4.8 billion in excess healthcare facilities. CDI is easily spread as even a very low infectious dose can transmit the infection. Disposable personal protective equipment (PPE) are recommended for use with CDI patients to prevent transmission in healthcare centres.

Aerosol generating procedures associated with C. difficile, such as toilet flushing, bedpan washing and other housekeeping activities, may result in cross-contamination. The article examines air sampling equipment in their effectiveness of testing for airborne C. difficile spores.

A major way to reduce aerosol generation of C. difficile spores is to follow best practice guidelines in human waste management. This may include individual patient toileting facilities and effective linen washing. Bedpan management systems should also minimise aerosol generation. One-way systems reduce the risk of steam generation of C. difficile spores because bedpans are immediately eliminated in a secured, enclosed appliance. 

Further Reading

Cooper, Casey et al., “Comparison and Evaluation of a High Volume Air Sampling System for the collection of Clostridioides difficile Endospore Aerosol in Healthcare Environments” American Journal of Infection Control. April 22, 2020.