C. difficile Infection Ups Duration of Hospital Stay

In survival analysis, median length of stay is increased by six days in patients with C. difficile

MONDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital-acquired infection with Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) significantly and independently lengthens the duration of stay in the hospital, according to a study published online Dec. 5 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

Alan J. Forster, M.D., from the University of Ottawa, and colleagues investigated the impact of hospital-acquired C. difficile infection on length of hospital stay, through a retrospective cohort study of hospital admissions between 2002 and 2009. The correlation between hospital-acquired infection and time to discharge was measured, controlling for baseline death risk, and accounting for C. difficile as a time-varying effect.

The investigators found that 1,393 of the 136,877 hospital admissions reported hospital-acquired infection with C. difficile. Patients with hospital-acquired C. difficile had a greater crude median length of hospital stay than those without C. difficile (34 versus eight days). In a survival analysis, the median length of stay was increased by six days with hospital-acquired C. difficile. Adjusted analyses revealed a significant association between hospital-acquired C. difficile and the time of discharge, which was affected by baseline death risk and time to infection acquisition. For patients with hospital acquired C. difficile in the lowest and the highest decile of baseline risk of death, the hazard ratios for discharge by day seven were 0.55 and 0.45, respectively, and for discharge by day 28, they were 0.74 and 0.61, respectively.

"Hospital-acquired infection with C. difficile significantly prolonged length of stay in hospital, independent of baseline risk of death," the authors write.

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