Screening IBD patients saves lives

At St George's Hospital, we have seen a 70% reduction in hospital-acquired infections after implementing a range of control measures, such as careful handwashing and reduced use of broad spectrum antibiotics

Patients admitted to hospital with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) face a six-fold greater risk of death if they become infected with Clostridium difficile, a new study has found. The researchers from Imperial College London and St George's Healthcare NHS Trust say IBD patients should be screened on admission to protect them from serious illness. Dr Sonia Saxena from the School of Public Health at Imperial College London said: "Hospitals must do everything they can to control infections such as C. difficile. We are asking for these high-risk patients to be screened pro-actively on admission to hospital so that if they are exposed they can be diagnosed and treated more quickly." Dr Richard Pollok from St George's Healthcare NHS Trust, who was the senior author of the study, added: "At St George's Hospital, we have seen a 70% reduction in hospital-acquired infections after implementing a range of control measures, such as careful handwashing and reduced use of broad spectrum antibiotics, but we need to do more to protect vulnerable patients such as those with IBD."

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