Date of Graduation

Spring 2017

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Major

Biology

Research Sponsor

Ann Salvator

First Reader

Ann Salvator

Second Reader

Jeffrey Zoltan

Abstract

Clostridium difficille (C. difficile) is an infection-causing bacteria prevalent in hospital intensive care units (ICU). C. difficile infection (CDI) causes severe diarrhea and intestinal issues, while being highly contagious through resistant spores. Critically ill ICU patients are particularly vulnerable due to their weakened state and often high dosages of antibiotics. We investigated the differences between trauma, medical, and surgery patients that contracted C. difficile and developed an infection (CDI) in the ICU through retrospective chart analyses. Trauma patients had statistically significantly higher mean number of days on respiratory ventilation, days with a foley catheter, days in the ICU until infection, mean length of ICU stay, and length of stay total than the medical patients. The medical patients had statistically significant higher mean number of days on vasopressor drugs and percentage of mortality than the trauma and surgical patients.

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