C diff recurrences 'pose biggest challenge'
Recurrent Clostridium difficile cases (CDIs) are now considered by most doctors to be the biggest challenge when treating the infection, a survey suggests.
The Think C-differently report, published this month, suggests that 50% of UK doctors feel that this issue is currently the most challenging they face.
Around 25,000 cases of CDIs are reported on an annual basis, with the condition costing the NHS around £250m each year.
The 101 health specialists who were polled as part of the report indicate that recurrent CDIs have a heavy financial burden. It is believed that the NHS has to spend up to £10,000 on every case of CDI which is reported.
Graziella Kontkowski, founder of the C-diff Support patient organisation, said greater awareness was required among patients about the risks of CDI recurrences.
She added: “As statistics are now showing that C.difficile is as prevalent in the community setting as it is in the hospital setting, it is essential that doctors working in this area are able to diagnose and treat their patients promptly to ensure recovery is made without complications arising.”
Professor Mark Wilcox, professor of Medical Microbiology, University of Leeds and Leeds Teaching Hospitals, added: “We have come a long way since the very high rates of CDI in 2007-08, but there is still room for continued improvement.
“We must avoid complacency and ensure CDI is appropriately contained by optimising diagnosis, improving treatment and ensuring that systems for reporting CDI are as accurate as possible.”