C.diff, which is also referred to as C. difficile or clostridium difficile, is a bacterium that causes symptoms that can range from diarrhea to those that are life-threatening and result in the inflammation of the colon. The Mayo Clinic points out that C. diff usually affects older adults or those who are staying in a long-term care facility, however, anyone can catch it. If someone develops a mild to moderate infection where C. diff is present, they may suffer from:
- Watery diarrhea three or more times a day for two or more days.
- Abdominal cramping and tenderness that is mild.
For someone who suffers from a much more severe case of the infection, they will likely suffer from one or more of the following symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Swollen abdomen
- Kidney failure
- Increased white blood cell count
- Watery diarrhea 10 to 15 times a day
- Abdominal cramping and pain, which may be severe
- Rapid heart rate
- Blood or pus in the stool
If C. diff isn’t caught early on, a person could potentially die from the infection. If you have lost a loved one and believe their death is related to the inattentiveness or negligent actions displayed by a health care worker or facility, consider consulting with one of our featured West Virginia medical malpractice attorneys. Although not all cases of C.diff can be used as a valid reason to file a claim or lawsuit, if your loved one wasn’t properly cared for and their death or suffering could have been prevented had a physician acted quicker and more effectively, then you may have a viable claim.
What are the main causes of C. diff?
This bacteria is found in soil, air, water, human and animal feces, and food products including processed meats. The infection is most commonly associated with the health care industry and antibiotic use. Because your body contains healthy bacteria that is used to protect your body, when a patient consumes an antibiotic to treat a condition they were already suffering from, the drugs destroy the good bacteria which can cause C.diff to grow if it present in the facility.
If someone doesn’t wash their hands or cleans a patient when required to do so, this helps the bacteria to spread which in return cases patients to suffer from the illness.
Health care workers have responsibilities to follow through with to maintain their patients’’ health and wellbeing
Maintaining a clean and sanitary environment is crucial in hospitals and other health care facilities that treat patients. Washing hands and wiping down tools are only two of the many ways those employed in the health care industry can keep these environments free from hazardous infections and decrease the spread of them.
If you feel you or someone you love was harmed or fell ill during their stay in a facility in West Virginia, perhaps you would benefit from speaking with a WV medical malpractice attorney recommended on USAttorneys.com who can better inform you as to whether you can file a lawsuit and how they can help get this accomplished.