Clostridium difficile infection in the elderly.

Link to article at PubMed

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Clostridium difficile infection in the elderly.

Acta Med Indones. 2009 Jul;41(3):148-51

Authors: Taslim H

The aging society and the advanced of supportive treatment means that large numbers of elderly patients with risk factors for C difficile enterocolitis will continue to receive care in intensive care unit. Antibiotic resistance and older, sicker patients means that combination antibiotic therapy will become a trend in clinical setting. Age, several co-morbidities, and gastrointestinal surgery appear to be specific risk factors for C difficile infection. Diarrhea which is the only symptom in hospitalized patient should drive us to rethink about the possibility of C difficile infection especially in the elderly patient. Prudent use of antibiotic, infection control are strategies to prevent C difficile infection in clinical setting. Elderly patients who undergo gastrointestinal surgery have an increased rate of C difficile infection because of commonly used nasogastric tube. Gastrointestinal surgical patients typically have preoperative bowel preparation, receive oral preoperative antibiotics that are poorly absorbed, impaired bowel motility secondary to ileus, receive systemic preoperative antibiotics prophylaxis, and have variable lengths of no oral caloric intake during the preoperative period. The continued imprudent use of prolonged postoperative systemic antibiotics for presumed preventive purposes, particularly among the elderly and patients who have nasogastric tubes or other enteric tubes, appears to be a recipe for preventable infections with C difficile.

PMID: 19752488 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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