The number of hospitalized children infected with the bacterium Clostridium difficile is rising, resulting in increased complications, length of stay and higher mortality rates, according to newly released research.
C. diff infections rise among kids, study finds
For the study, published online in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, the authors used data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Kids' Inpatient Database, sponsored by HHS' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The average number of C. difficile cases increased nearly 15% each year, from 1997 to 2006, although researchers found no significant upward trends in disease severity.
The authors said the significant uptick in infections could be related to factors such as antibiotic administration or a more virulent strain of the bacterium. Also, they said, better detection of healthcare-associated infections could contribute to higher rates.
“Increasing awareness of these risks and of an upward trend in hospitalized children with CDI is the first step in controlling this important infection,” the authors said in the study.
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