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C. difficile lengthens hospital stays by 6 days

A new study published in the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) reports that hospital-acquired Clostridium difficile infection increases length of stay in hospital by an average of six days.

C. difficile is the most common cause of infectious diarrhea in hospital, and it is estimated that 10% of patients who become infected in hospital will die.

Researchers used The Ottawa Hospital Data Warehouse to analyze data on 136 877 admissions to The Ottawa Hospital between July 1, 2002 and March 31, 2009. A total of 1393 patients acquired C. difficile in hospital during this time, and these patients spent 34 days in hospital compared with 8 days for patients who did not have C. difficile. However, the researchers also found that patients who became infected with C. difficile tended to have more serious illnesses and would have been more likely to stay longer in hospital anyway.
 
 

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