Return to flip book view

Clostridioides Difficile

Page 1

How Will I Know When the C diff Is No Longer Infectious Once the diarrhoea has stopped for two full days and your bowel motion poo is back to normal you are less likely to be infectious However C diff bacteria may stay in your bowel after the diarrhoea has stopped and sometimes it can flare up again later If the diarrhoea comes back tell your doctor or nurse right away If you need antibiotics for another illness please tell your GP that you have had a C diff infection in the past For you and for everyone it is safer not to take antibiotics if you do not need them What Happens When I Go Home If you still have some diarrhoea when you go home keep taking your treatment and drink plenty of fluids Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water after you go to the toilet and use a separate towel to others Try to keep the toilet flushed and the toilet lid rim and handle clean C diff is usually a very low risk to family and friends if they are in reasonably good health and not on antibiotics Family and visitors should wash their hands after going to the toilet and before eating This helps to prevent the spread of C diff In any case it is always recommended that people wash their hands every time they use the toilet Clean hands protect you and others from lots of infections not just C diff INFORMATION ON Further information Please do not hesitate to ask the healthcare staff caring for you if you have any questions or if you require more information about C diff Information on hand hygiene infection control and managing superbugs at home is available on www hse ie infectioncontrol INFECTION PREVENTION CONTROL TEAM This leaflet is adapted from the information leaflet produced by the HSE www hse ie August 2022 Version 2 Beacon Hospital Sandyford Dublin 18 D18 AK68 Tel 01 293 6600 www beaconhospital ie CLOSTRIDIOIDES DIFFICILE

Page 2

INFORMATION ON CLOSTRIDIOIDES DIFFICILE What Is Clostridioides Difficile Clostridioides difficile is a type of bacteria bug It is often called C diff for short and that s the term we will use throughout this leaflet C diff bacteria live in the bowel along with many other bacteria Usually they cause no problems for people in good health Sometimes C diff grow too much in the bowel and this can cause diarrhoea This can happen when someone is taking antibiotics or can occur after a person has finished a course of antibiotics How Did I Get C diff If a person has C diff in their bowel the bacteria comes out of their body in their faeces poo The bacteria can then stick to hands and also to surfaces for example toilet seats table tops beds floors and so on The bacteria can live on these surfaces for weeks The bacteria are much too small to see so even if something looks clean the bacteria can still be there You could pick up C diff without knowing it simply by touching a surface carrying the bacteria If someone touches you and there is C diff on their hands it can spread to you If you get C diff on your hands it can get into your mouth when you eat or drink and then start to grow in your bowel What Are the Symptoms of C diff If C diff bacteria grow too much in your bowel you may get diarrhoea The diarrhoea is often watery and can smell very bad You may also suffer from stomach cramps have a high temperature have a sick tummy and lose your appetite Most people only get mildly sick and recover fully from C diff without any treatment However some people can get very sick with C diff and need a long and complicated course of treatment In some cases people get better fairly quickly but the diarrhoea comes back when they stop the treatment A small number of people get C diff diarrhoea that keeps coming back after they stop treatment How Do I Know If I Have C diff It is important to tell a member of staff caring for you if you get diarrhoea a sample of your faeces can be sent to the lab The sample is tested for the bacteria and viruses that can cause diarrhoea If you are in hospital when you get C diff you will be moved to a single room or a special ward You will have a toilet or commode for your own use Please be sure to clean your hands thoroughly with soap and water after using the toilet or commode and before meals Staff looking after you will wear aprons and gloves and clean their hands after caring for you When the diarrhoea settles down you may be asked to move back into a ward with other patients What Treatment Will I Get If I Have C diff Diarrhoea In some cases certain antibiotics may have caused the C diff diarrhoea If that is the case you may be advised to stop taking these antibiotics You may be given different antibiotics to treat the C diff bacteria It is important to drink plenty of fluids so that you don t become dehydrated due to the diarrhoea Can I Have Visitors If I Am Infected with C diff Yes you can have visitors If the people who visit you are reasonably healthy they are at very low risk of getting any illness from C diff However visitors taking antibiotics or who are very ill themselves are at greater risk If you know someone is taking antibiotics or they re ill you might want to tell them not to visit until your diarrhoea has settled All your visitors should wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water at the end of the visit and not just use hand sanitiser This helps to stop C diff from spreading Also your visitors should not sit on your bed in hospital

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6