Clostridium difficile is known by the name C.diff in medical circles. C.diff is an infection, which causes inflammation of the colon, and is found far too often in California nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities. Symptoms of C. diff include diarrhea, cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever and a loss of appetite. Unfortunately C. diff is particularly prevalent in nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities in California due to the age of residents, and multiple underlying medical conditions which require antibiotics.
For many elders, a diagnosis of C. diff may be cured with a round of antibiotics. However, as peculiar as it sounds, most elders in California nursing homes who contract C. diff were recently being treated with antibiotics. The antibiotics kill the “good” bacteria in the intestines which would normally suppress the C. difficile bacteria.
Once a resident of a nursing home or skilled nursing facility has contracted C. diff, it’s imperative that they are isolated to prevent the spread of infection to other residents. C. diff is resistant to most disinfectants, and therefore, those who have it should not be touching items that other patients or residents touch. It is the responsibility of the staff to ensure that those who have C. diff are kept from infecting other patients.
Residents in long term care facilities are granted certain rights upon entering into a residential care facility. Included amongst other rights is the right to reside in a clean, sanitary facility. If the nursing home staff does not properly isolate the C. diff infection, or provide a swift control response, which results in other elders contracting C. diff, you may consider filing a lawsuit.
If an elder you know has suffered from C. diff infection, pain and suffering while in the care of a California nursing home or skilled nursing facility, you may have legal options to pursue. Chris Walton concentrates his practice in the areas of personal injury and nursing home abuse/neglect. In addition to his advocacy on behalf of elderly and personal injury victims, he is actively involved in the San Diego legal community. In 2011 and 2012, he was elected by his peers to serve as co-chair of the Elder Law Section of the San Diego County Bar Association. He is also active in the North County Bar Association, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, Consumer Attorneys of California and the American Inns of Court, Honorable William B. Enright Chapter. Chris was named a Top Attorney by the San Diego Daily Transcript in 2013 and a Southern California SuperLawyer in 2014.