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How can nurses manage C difficile relapses in the community?

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Key points

  • C difficile has significant morbidity and mortality; patients can deteriorate in the community if they are not monitored effectively
  • Monitoring symptoms is crucial to improving the outcome of patients
  • Contacting patients after discharge to offer support and advice can prevent readmission
  • The multi-disciplinary team needs to understand the cause, prevention and management of patients with the disease
  • Treatment and assessment can be carried out in the community by GPs with the multidisciplinary team

Let’s discuss

  • Why is it important to carry out a root cause analysis on all cases of C difficile in the community?
  • Why should patients discharged from hospital with a history of C difficile be followed up in the community?
  • Mr Green is 80 years old and lives alone. He has Parkinson’s disease and his mobility is poor. He was in hospital recently and had a C difficile infection and following discharge he has symptoms again at home. What practical problems will Mr Green have in the community? What advice and support would you give Mr Green? How could you use the algorithm described in this article in your clinical area?
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