Colitis due to Clostridium difficile toxins: underdiagnosed, highly virulent, and nosocomial

by John S. Fordtran, MD, Division of gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Baylor University Medical Center. A scientific study of the occurrence and causes of the C-Dif epidemic that is spreading through hospitals. Includes common sense advice for health care professionals to prevent the spread of this serious infection to which the elderly are particularly susceptible. The suggestions which caregivers should know about, include: “Patients should be told that taking antibiotics can precipitate C.difficile disease.” And, “the best that individual physicians can do for a grandmother is to keep her out of the hospital whenever possible, avoid giving her unnecessary antibiotics, adhere to the antibiotic management program provided on page 7, avoid combinations of drugs that increase the risk of C.difficile disease, … and wash their hands.”

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