Clostridium Difficile Essay

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Clostridium difficile
Jane Doe
A University

Clostridium difficile
Clostridium difficile is a gram positive, spore forming anaerobic bacillus, which may or may not carry the genes for toxin A-B production (Nipa, 2010). These two types of protein exotoxins produced by the Clostridium difficile bacillus, toxin A and toxin B, can have an infectious form and a non-active, non-infectious form (Grossman, 2010). The infectious form can survive for a short duration of time in the environment. The spores can survive for a longer period of time in the environment and are not infectious unless and until they are ingested or are transformed into an infectious state (Nipa, 2010).
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Treatments Clostridium difficile associated disease will resolve when the patient discontinues taking the antibiotics to which he/she has been previously exposed (Nipa, 2010). Administration of a different antibiotic is used to treat the infection (Grossman, 2010). The infection can usually be treated with an appropriate course of about 10 days of antibiotics including metronidazole or vancomycin administered orally (Nipa, 2010). On occasion intravenous vancomycin may be necessary (Gould, 2010). The nurse should ensure patients are not only taking the newly prescribed antibiotic, but also responding to the treatment by showing a decrease in symptoms. Symptoms can recur despite antibiotic therapy, close monitoring is essential. In order to avoid risk of further complications, nursing interventions would include careful assessment of white blood cell count, temperature, and hydration status; meticulous skin care and assistance with bowel elimination given the loose frequent stools; and management of abdominal discomfort (Grossman, 2010).
Patient Teaching Clostridium difficile is a particularly challenging and difficult infection to control. Because Clostridium difficile spores can live on dry surfaces for long periods of time, teaching must include the importance of cleaning surfaces and
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