Patients and their families seek healthcare to make them better. But every year hundreds of thousands of American seeking relief from an illness or injury are exposed to a healthcare-associated infection (HAI). Over the past few years, our healthcare system has made progress in minimizing harm from many HAIs, such as MRSA and central line infections, but Clostridioides difficile infections (CDIs) have been increasing in the United States every year since 2000.


CDI can affect ANYONE

  • While the elderly and people with compromised immune systems are more vulnerable to CDIs, the primary risk factor is current or recent use of antibiotics, particularly those in these classes.
    • Clindamycin (Brand name Cipromycin®)
    • Fluoroquinolones (Levaquim®)
    • Cephalosporins, such as cefalexin (Keflex® and Daxbia®)
    • Penicillins
  • CDI is the most common cause of infectious diarrhea in healthcare settings.
  • Taking antibiotics increases the risk for acquiring a CDI by 7 – 10 times
  • Other risk factors include being aged 65 or older and having recently stayed in a healthcare facility.
  • In recent years, both postpartum women and healthy adults have seen increased risk for CDI.
  • An estimated 17,000 children get a CDI every year, according to a 2014 study in the Journal of Pediatrics. The Pediatrics study found that there was no difference in the incidence of CDI among boys and girls, and that the highest numbers were seen in white children and those between the ages of 12 and 23 months.



  • In 2009, there were 336,600 hospital stays related to CDI—an increase of 126% from 2001.
  • There are nearly 500,000 C. diff infections annually in the US.
  • CDI recurs in about 1 in 5 patients.
  • CDI significantly impairs patients’ quality of life both physically and emotionally because of the lack of control of bowel function and lack if understanding about the illness.
  • CDI, particularly the nature of the diarrhea, negatively affects patients’ relationships with family, children and spouses.
  • Most patients with CDIs describe themselves as “housebound.”
  • Hospitalized CDI patients



  • 29,000 Americans died from a CDI in 2011.
  • In 2011, CDI was the 17th leading cause of death for people aged 65 years and older.
  • 2011 death rates related to CDI were ten times higher than those in 1999.
  • Nursing home CDI cases alone led to 9,000 deaths in 2011.



  • Costs include up to $6.2 billion in aggregated annual costs for hospital care of patients with CDI
  • The average cost per hospital stay for patients with CDI is $24,400, more than triple the cost (~$8,000) for other patients
  • On average, CDI increases hospital stays by 3.3 days
  • There are also indirect costs of CDI, including days lost due to absence, productivity losses, and hiring others to help with daily home tasks


CDI has LASTING effects

  • Severe CDI cases can lead to colectomy (surgical removal of the colon), which has long term effects on a patient’s health and lifestyle.
  • A small percentage of CDI sufferers report post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome for several months.
  • Many CDI sufferers report fear and anxiety of recurrence after cure.
  • Patients also reported being afraid of taking antibiotics because of risk of recurrence as well as increased concern about hand hygiene and cleaning surfaces.
  • Even after recovery, many CDI survivors still harbor trauma of their past experience, particularly around cleanliness of themselves and their environment.