Infection control and IV therapy


Intravenous literature: Higginson, R. (2009) Infection control and IV therapy in patients with Clostridium difficult. British Journal of Nursing. 18(16), p.962-969.


Clostridium difficile is a spore-forming anaerobe belonging to the family Clostridium, with the bacteria being found in low numbers in approximately 5% of the healthy adult population. Together with meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, it is a major healthcare-associated infection and is responsible for considerable morbidity and mortality. Antibiotics administered to patients can alter normal gut flora, allowing the proliferation of C. difficile and causing antibiotic-associated diarrhoea and colitis. Such diarrhoea, if severe, can lead to dangerous dehydration and even hypovolaemia, especially in the elderly. To limit the physiological impact of diarrhoea, it is sometimes necessary to administer intravenous therapy. Although good clinical practice demands that infection control should be considered in all clinical situations, specific infection control procedures need to be adhered to when administering intravenous therapy to patients with C. difficile.


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