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Prolonged Hospitalization

Prolonged hospitalization greater than 7 days, including those who are less than 72 hours from hospital discharge following prolonged hospitalization


  • C. difficile related hospitalizations as a proportion of all hospitalizations among U.S. children increased dramatically between 1997 and 2006, from 7.24 to 12.8/10,000 hospitalizations

  • Duration of hospitalization is a risk factor for CDI; the daily increase in the risk of C. difficile acquisition during hospitalization suggests that duration of hospitalization is a proxy for the duration, if not the degree, of exposure to the organism from other patients with CDI

  • Recent evidence suggests that CDI resulting from exposure to C. difficile in a healthcare facility can have onset after discharge

These guidelines do not establish a standard of care to be followed in every case. It is recognized that each case is different and those individuals involved in providing health care are expected to use their judgment in determining what is in the best interests of the patient based on the circumstances existing at the time. It is impossible to anticipate all possible situations that may exist and to prepare guidelines for each. Accordingly these guidelines should guide care with the understanding that departures from them may be required at times.