How is diarrhoea managed in UK care homes? A survey with implications for recognition and control of Clostridium difficile infection

Henderson, Hazel J, Maddock, Liz, Andrews, Sue, Trail, Peter, Loades, Nancy, Purcell, Bernadette, Iversen, Angela, Llewelyn, Martin J and Cassell, Jackie A (2010) How is diarrhoea managed in UK care homes? A survey with implications for recognition and control of Clostridium difficile infection. Journal of Public Health, 32 (4). pp. 472-478. ISSN 1741-3842

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Abstract

Background: Policy and regulatory efforts to reduce Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) rates now focus increasingly on the community setting, especially residential and nursing homes for the elderly. We aimed to describe how potentially infectious diarrhoea is managed in care homes, and to explore related infection control and human waste management practices. Methods: A questionnaire was sent to all care homes in Sussex, asking about management of diarrhoea and related infection control practices. Results: Response rate was 41%. Residents with diarrhoea were reported to be isolated promptly in 36% of homes, and 78.2% of homes reported always wearing appropriate personal protective equipment. Most homes waited over 24 h before sending stool samples for testing. Human waste was disposed of by automated sluice in only 26% of care homes. Bedpans were washed in residents’ sinks in 20.7% of residential homes, and in communal baths in 9.6%. Conclusion: This study shows that most care homes are not fully compliant with current infection prevention and control guidance, and that some unacceptable practices are occurring. In order to reduce potential for transmission of CDI and other diarrhoeal infection in care homes, infection prevention and control practices must be improved, with early diagnosis and control.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: communicable diseases, health services, research
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Clinical and Experimental Medicine
Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Primary Care and Public Health
Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Global Health and Infection
Depositing User: Caroline Brooks
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2010
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2017 14:15
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/2412
Google Scholar:0 Citations

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