According to a recent study presented at the National Kidney Foundation, people with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) have a significantly elevated risk of dying from Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infection. C. diff, is a bacterium that can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon. In recent years, C. diff infections have become more frequent, more severe and more difficult to treat. Each year, tens of thousands of people in the United States contract C. diff, including some otherwise healthy people who aren't hospitalized or taking antibiotics.
Researchers at Albert Einstein School of Medicine's Jacobi Medical Center in New York City compared outcomes of 104 ESRD patients on dialysis with a 300-person control group. They found those in the ESRD group had a C. diff-related mortality rate of 3.8%, which is over 2.5 times the other group's rate of 1.46%. ESRD patients were also more likely to have a relapse of severe C. diff infection within two months. By combining Metronidazole and oral or rectal Vancomycin was more effective than mono-therapy drug treatment for the ESRD patients with C. diff. The mono-therapy was associated with increased chances of a relapse.
How to avoid C. diff:
Wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water.
Avoid touching surfaces in healthcare facilities as much as possible, particularly in bathrooms. C. diff is a bacteria that can survive for many hours on and around toilets, on counter tops and sinks, and anywhere an infected person has touched without washing his/her hands after going to the bathroom.
Avoid putting your fingers in your mouth. Unless you are certain your hands are clean, don't eat, especially using your fingers, and avoid touching your nose or eyes, because mucus membranes can absorb germs.