C-diff is a type of bacteria that nursing home patients are extra vulnerable to. In this article, we explain what C-diff is and how it relates to nursing home abuse. 

Key Takeaways

  • C-diff is a bacteria that causes problems like diarrhea and colon inflammation
  • C-diff causes nearly half a million infections in the United States every year
  • Symptoms of C-diff include nausea, stomach pain, and diarrhea
  • C-diff is contagious and it is common for people to get it more than once
  • Populations at risk for C-diff include nursing home residents, adults over 65, and people with a weakened immune system
  • Nursing homes are responsible for maintaining a clean and sanitary environment in order to reduce the risk of C-diff infections among residents

What Is C-Diff?

C-diff, short for Clostridioides Difficile or C. difficile, is a bacteria that causes health issues such as diarrhea and inflammation of the colon. It’s estimated to cause nearly 500,000 infections each year in the United States. 

Symptoms of C-diff include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Stomach tenderness or pain
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea

C-diff is contagious and, in order to limit its spread, it is important for people to always wash their hands after using the bathroom and before eating. It’s also recommended for people with diarrhea to try to use separate bathrooms from others. 

C-diff is also easy to get more than once, with one in six people getting a second infection in the two to eight weeks after having it. Innovative therapies such as fecal microbiota transplants have been promising for people suffering from multiple repeat C-diff infections.

Risk Factors for C-Diff

While anybody can get C-diff, there are certain risk factors for it including:

  • A recent stay at a hospital or nursing home
  • Being age 65 or older
  • Having had a previous infection with C. diff or known exposure to the germs
  • Having a weakened immune system caused by things like HIV/AIDS, cancer, or immunosuppressive drugs

C-Diff and Nursing Home Abuse

Unfortunately, seniors in nursing homes are especially vulnerable to C-diff infections, with one in 11 people over age 65 diagnosed with a healthcare-associated C. diff infection dying within one month. This infection can spread rapidly through nursing homes, especially those that do not follow proper sanitation practices.

In order to protect residents from C-diff, nursing homes should take steps such as:

  • Monitoring patients’ antibiotic use, making sure they take the right type, take it properly, and do not stay on it for too long
  • Requiring staff members to carefully and frequently wash their hands 
  • Sanitizing all surfaces
  • Generally promoting cleanliness and sanitation

If a nursing home fails to do these things, it may be breaking its legal requirement of protecting residents from disease and infection. If you or a loved one contracted C-diff from a nursing home environment, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering. To help you determine whether or not you have a case, it is recommended to speak to an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer.

Featured Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Lawyers

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