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Clostridium difficile: Preventing Epidemic Outbreaks in Home Health


Home Healthcare Nurse: The Journal for the Home Care and Hospice Professional: October 2008 - Volume 26 - Issue 9 - p 563–569
doi: 10.1097/01.NHH.0000338518.64238.07

Clostridium difficile is not affected by alcohol-based hand rubs or most cleaning solutions. As a result, it spreads quickly and easily. Spores can survive for months on environmental surfaces. Epidemics of hypervirulent mutations in the United States, Canada, and Europe are causing life-threatening infections, with rising mortality rates. This article aims to teach home health clinicians what they need to know to protect patients, families, themselves, and the community beyond the patient's home.

Mary C. Vrtis, PhD, RN, is Legal Nurse Consultant at Aperio Medical Legal Consultants, Front Royal, Virginia.

Address for correspondence: Mary C. Vrtis, Aperio Medical Legal Consultants, 388 Rocky Lane, Front Royal, VA 22630 (e-mail:

The author of this article has no significant ties, financial or otherwise, to any company that might have an interest in the publication of this educational activity.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.