A team of researchers in Ottawa, Canada, has reported that a Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection increases a patient’s hospital stay by at least six days.

The researchers, led by Dr Alan Forster, a general internist and co-director of the Ottawa Hospital Center for Patient Safety, studied admissions between 1 July 2002 and 31 March 2009 at a single academic hospital.

They then measured the association between infection with hospital-acquired C. difficile and time to discharge, and found that the crude median length of stay in hospital was greater for patients with hospital-acquired C. difficile than for those without it.

Of the estimated 25,000 diagnosed cases of C. difficile in Canada each year, one in ten patients die from the infection.