Clostridium difficile infection is a common hospital-associated infection spread via patient contact or contaminated environments. The risk for spread of C difficile may be greater in inpatient rehabilitation units than in some hospital units as patients are not confined to their rooms and often share equipment. Environmental disinfection is challenging in shared medical equipment, especially in equipment with complex designs. The study aimed to examine the presence of C difficile spores within an acute rehabilitation environment and to evaluate disinfection effectiveness.
Cultures were performed on 28 rehabilitation rooms, 28 rehabilitation floor surfaces, and 80 shared devices and equipment. Two disinfection interventions were implemented, and environmental cultures then were repeated postintervention.
Environmental cultures positive for CD spores were rehabilitation rooms (1/28), rehabilitation floors (13/28), and wheelchairs (3/20). After the implementation of new disinfection methods, repeat cultures were obtained and produced negative results.
Nonsporicidal disinfectant was not effective on hospital floors. Sporicidal disinfection of the floor is important when rates of C difficile infection are increased. Wheelchairs are complex devices and difficult to properly clean. The hospital purchased an ultraviolent device for wheelchair cleaning with a subsequent reduction in spores on repeat cultures.
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