The bacteria Clostridium difficile (also known as C. difficile or C. diff) is an infection that occurs in the large intestine. Infections can lead to serious health issues that may even result in death. According to recent studies, C. difficile is responsible for over 3 million cases of diarrhea and colitis in the U.S. Although a majority of people infected don’t experience any severe symptoms because of strong immune systems, the elderly residents of nursing homes aren’t as fortunate. Many cases of C. difficile could be prevented if nursing home employees actually care for residents, but a nursing home lawyer is available if residents have received inadequate treatment or none at all.
C. Difficile and the Elderly
In weakened immune systems, C. difficile begins to release toxins that cause inflammation and cell damage within the intestines. Certain strains of the bacteria are much more dangerous than others, resisting modern medications.
Nursing home residents oftentimes possess weaker immune systems, requiring antibiotics to treat common infections. Antibiotics—although good for taking care of harmful infections—eliminate some healthy bacteria as well. Because of the lack of healthy bacteria in the intestines, C. difficile infections can occur. Nursing home patients may require additional care to ensure that these infections don’t develop into life-threatening conditions. If you believe a resident has suffered because of the neglect of workers to treat this infection, nursing home attorneys will work to make sure their case receives the attention it needs.
Detecting Clostridium Difficile
The biggest threat to health that Clostridium difficile causes is dehydration. If not properly detected by workers, patients can suffer dehydration, along with low-grade fevers and cramping. More severe symptoms include weight loss, nausea, blood in stool, high fever, intense pain and diarrhea that occurs ten to fifteen times in a single day. Nursing home workers should watch for residents suffering from these oftentimes embarrassing symptoms.
Unsanitary conditions in nursing homes caused by under-staffing or simply neglect leaves room for Clostridium difficile to develop. Nursing home lawyers can represent victims of C. difficile who have suffered or even died wrongfully because of a facility’s negligence.