Tips for families fighting C. diff

Tips for families fighting a CDI - This is not medical advice, just things I learned along the way while caring for my family


Hand Hygiene - Wash your hands, and use gloves.

C. diff spores live in the environment for a very long time (sometimes for as long as 2 years!), they are also very sticky and adhere to hands and surfaces. When changing diapers or coming into possible contact with spores use gloves, after disposing of gloves wash your hands for 30 seconds in running water (including your wrists, thumbs and under your finger nails). I like Soft Soap Liquid Hand Soap and I also invested in several Simple Human no-touch soap dispensers. Make sure to take care of your hands, the frequent hand washing can lead to cracks and irritation so make sure to use a good hand lotion.

Diaper Changes

Many infants are C. diff carriers, though they may carry C. diff most infants will not develop clinical disease. However, new moms who find themselves on an antibiotic after giving birth may be in danger of reinfection after fighting a C. diff infection, this includes infection from their (super cute) babies. Here are some products that I found helpful. Make sure to wear gloves, and use a disposable changing mat, bag the diaper and the mat, and then dispose of the bag within a lided diaper pail (I chose to buy a diaper pail that could be opened with a hands-free foot pedal). Make sure to keep the changing area very clean, C. diff spores are extremely resilient and must be cleaned with bleach. You can make your own solution at home using a 1:10 solution of bleach and water (regular bleach, not splashless). To make cleaning easier I use Clorox Germicidal Wipes to clean the changing table after changing baby, I also use them to clean sink handles, switches and other touch points.

Bathing

Be aware when bathing baby, do not bath baby in the kitchen sink. It is important to keep the kitchen separate for food preparation, and bathrooms for personal hygiene. If you are using a infant tub to wash baby make sure you are cleaning it with a bleach solution, after using make sure to THOROUGHLY rinse baby's tub (you don't want any left over bleach getting on baby's delicate skin). I chose to use an infant bathing seat in our shower with a hand-held shower head; and bleached and thoroughly rinsed his seat after use.

Keter Bath Seats

 

Toys and Home

This is a big one. If your little one is experiencing a CDI you will need to disinfect or get rid of everything they have played with while they were ill. I used germicidal wipes to clean each page of the children's books we chose to keep and cleaned all toys with a 1:10 bleach solution. Wash any stuffed animals that you are keeping on hot with bleach and dry on hot. If a family member is experiencing a CDI make sure to wash linens more frequently than usual with bleach (I washed linens every two days during active infections). Bleach the shower floor and touch points, as well as bleaching the toilet after use.

If you have any C. diff cleaning questions please feel free to ask, it is pretty likely that I've cleaned it!

Use your resources

It can be extremely isolating having C. diff or caring for a loved one experiencing C. diff. Take people up on offers to drop off food, use AmazonFresh or other delivery services for grocery shopping, see if your pharmacy delivers, use AmazonPrime Now for urgent needs. With most of our family being older (and at higher risk of catching C. diff) or living far away we had to step outside our box and find new solutions. Don't be afraid to get a second opinion or ask questions, be your own advocate!