Summary of findings: We found that increases in severity of C. difficile diarrhoea, likely to due to the arrival of the hypervirulent 027 strain in the UK, could have been detected three years early using routine monitoring of neutrophil counts at diagnosis, compared with looking at patient survival. This study shows how automated electronic systems providing early warning of the changing severity of infectious conditions could be established more generally using routinely collected laboratory hospital data.
Chief Investigator: Dr David Wyllie
Research location: OUH NHS Trust
Approval date: 04 Mar 2010