C. Diff mortality rate may be twice as high as CDC estimates

Deaths from C. Diff may be twice as high as the Centers for Disease Control estimates, according to an article in USA Today. 

For the article, USA Today conducted dozens of interviews and reviewed state and federal data, as well as government studies and academic papers.  The investigation found that the death rate from C. Diff was approximately 30,000 in 2010 – more than twice the rate that the CDC estimated, which was 14,000.  The CDC estimate is based on death certificates, which often don't list the infection when patients die from complications, such as kidney failure.

The article notes that although many hospitals are making progress towards reducing the spread of C. Diff infections through monitoring and controlling the use of antibiotics that allow C. diff to flourish, preventing the spreading the infection through proper hand hygiene, and effective equipment and room cleaning practices, strategies to reduce C. diff are generally more complicated and costly than other hospital infections.  

(Sources: The Advisory Board Daily Briefing, http://www.advisory.com/, August 17, 2012; USA Today, http://www.usatoday.com/, August 16, 2012)