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Did hospital-acquired C. diff turn into sepsis?

No one likes to spend any significant amount of time in a hospital, whether it's here in Houston or elsewhere. You can't move around much, nurses and other staff periodically wake you, and, well, the food often leaves much to be desired. However, on occasion, it may be necessary in order to ensure you recover from whatever illness or injury you suffered.

Considering all of the other inconveniences that come with a hospital stay, it wasn't likely encouraging when you contracted an infection called Clostridium difficile, better known as C. diff. Unfortunately, an already bad situation took a turn for the worse when you contracted sepsis as a result.

The basics regarding C. diff

  • diff is a bacterial infection that settles into your digestive system. It causes colitis, or an inflammation of your gut or colon. The primary indicator of the infection is diarrhea, which could range from moderate to severe and occurs several times a day. Other symptoms include the following:
  • Fever
  • Abdominal tenderness and pain
  • Loss or decrease in appetite
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss in later stages
  • Dehydration in later stages

A culture of your fecal matter will verify the presence of the bacteria. You contracted the infection through either indirect or direct contact. Indirect contact occurs by touching surfaces on which the bacteria remains viable. This could include touching TV remotes, telephones, doorknobs and more.

Direct contact occurs when a person with the bacteria on their person touches you. For example, hospital personnel who fail to wash their hands between patients could transmit it. Research shows that using hand sanitizer alone does not kill the bacteria. Instead, people must wash it off.

The situation gets worse

  • diff causes you enough suffering on its own, but if it goes on for any length of time, you could end up with sepsis, which can quickly become a life-threatening situation for you. Sepsis occurs when your body's immune response turns against you and begins attacking your body.

The sooner you receive a diagnosis for sepsis, the better your recovery and treatment options are. If it progresses into septic shock, you could spend days in the intensive care unit and may suffer permanent damage as a result.

If you are staying in a hospital, medical personnel should have no reason for not discovering that you contracted C. diff or sepsis. That is, unless the standard of care you receive is below the standards accepted by the medical community. Under these circumstances, you may have legal options for the pursuit of compensation for your ordeal and the financial losses that come with it.

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