C-diff is a form of bacterial infection closely associated with the use of antibiotics. It is short for colstridium difficile.
The most common cause of a c-diff infection in a nursing home is antibiotic use, commonly following the development of a urinary tract infection or cellulitis from a bed sore. Essentially, what happens is that your intestines carry bacteria which aid in the digestive process. Antibiotics kill off some of those bacteria, resulting in an imbalance of those intestinal bacteria which results in the infection.
The symptoms of a a c-diff infection include frequent, loose watery stools which persist for several days. In a nursing home setting, this can be very problematic as this can lead to rapid dehydration of the resident. Some studies have shown that in a geriatric patient population, the mortality rate from c-diff may be as high as 9% during the first 30 days after the onset of the infection. The development of symptoms of a c-diff infection is a serious matter requiring prompt notification of the physician by the nursing staff.
A c-diff infection also has serious implications as relates to bed sores. For residents who are not suffering from bed sores, the onset of a c-diff infection will likely result in added risk of skin breakdown from exposure to feces from the frequent loose watery bowel movements. For residents who are suffering from bed sores already, this will likely lead to the soiling of dressings which are likely to hasten the decline of the wound and cause additional infections such as cellulitis and osteomyelitis.
A c-diff infection is usually diagnosed clinically based on the symptoms, but that diagnosis will be confirmed by a stool sample. It usually treated with a powerful antibiotic called vancomycin.
The onset of a c-diff infection is one of the things which can cause a rapid downward spiral in the health of a nursing home resident and can lead to the death of the resident. When the inciting infection is one that is associated with some form of nursing home abuse and neglect, it can serve as a basis for a nursing home wrongful death lawsuit.
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