Clostridium difficile Infection in the Emergency Department

Sushil K. Garg, Itegbemie Obaitan, Shashank Sarvepalli, Chimaobi M. Anugwom, Darrell S. Pardi, Sahil Khanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction:Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) is associated with substantial emergency department (ED) and inpatient burden. To date, few studies have evaluated the ED burden of CDI. Using the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample, we evaluated trends in ED use, ED and inpatient charges, admission and mortality rates, length of stay, and independent risk factors for hospital admission and mortality after an ED visit.Methods:Using Nationwide Emergency Department Sample for 2006 through 2014, we identified all patients with the primary diagnosis of CDI (using diagnostic codes). We determined the trends in ED visits and used survey logistic regression analysis to identify factors associated with hospital admission.Results:Overall, 909,236 ED visits for CDI resulted in 817,935 admissions (90%) to the hospital. The number of visits increased from 76,709 in 2006 to 106,869 in 2014, and the admission rate decreased from 92.4% to 84.4%. ED charges adjusted for inflation went up from US$1433.0 to 2900, a significant rise even accounting for inflation. The overall length of hospital stay decreased from 7 to 5.8 days. Independent predictors of admission after ED visits included smoking, use of alcohol, and presence of multiple comorbidities. Independent risk factors for mortality in admitted patients include increasing age and presence of comorbidities.Conclusions:Although ED use for CDI increased, rates of hospital admission decreased over 9 years. Identification of predictors of admission and in-hospital mortality will help guide policies and interventions to reduce the burden on health care resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)350-355
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of clinical gastroenterology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


  • Clostridioides difficile infection
  • Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project
  • Nationwide Emergency Department Sample

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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