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Mentor

Dr. Pamela Ark

Abstract

A review of literature related to community acquired Clostridium difficile -associated disease (CA-CDAD) was conducted. Nine relevant studies were identified using the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health (CINAHL) and MEDLINE-EBSCOhost databases. Clinical practice recommendations were obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The studies provided information about epidemiology of infection due to C. difficile in the community and interventions to reduce transmission. Multiple studies found underlying gastrointestinal disorders and use of cephalosporin antibiotics to be a risk factor. Another risk factor was administration of gastric acid suppressive drugs. No particular C. difficile strain was more likely to cause recurrence. Many positive cases for CA-CDAD lacked traditional risk factors such as recent antibiotic exposure. To reduce transmission of CA-CDAD, it should be considered in the differential diagnosis of diarrhea. Clinicians should collect specimens for culture based on patient history and current clinical presentation for patients with diarrhea. It is important that patients be taught the proper hygiene and cleaning protocols to reduce transmission.

About the Author

Shannan Sherman graduated from the University of Central Florida, College of Nursing with honors in the major in May 2010. She presented her research at UCF’s Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence in 2010, where she received 4th place honors. Shannan currently works at Florida Hospital as a critical care nurse and plans to obtain a Master’s Degree in Nurse Anesthesia after gaining field experience.

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