Cureus. 2021 Apr 29;13(4):e14751. doi: 10.7759/cureus.14751.
Clostridium difficle (C. diff) is a well known cause of infectious diarrhea across hospitals in the developed world. An anaerobic, gram positive rod bacteria, C. diff is part of the normal flora of the human colon; however, alterations to the microbiome can promote proliferation leading to pathogenic behavior. Typical symptoms include watery diarrhea in excess of three or more times a day, for at least two days, and abdominal cramping. While most infections do not lead to long term complications, the two complications that are most deleterious to health are toxic megacolon and bowel perforation. Patients with an inflammatory bowel disease are at a higher risk of complications, and thus need to be managed appropriately. This case presents a 39-year-old male, with pertinent medical history of poorly controlled ulcerative colitis, who presented to general surgery with imaging suggesting rectal perforation secondary to a C. diff infection. Due to the free air visualized in the rectum, the patient was urgently transported to the operating room to undergo a total colectomy and end ileostomy surgery. This case discusses the well-known complication of bowel perforation, in order to raise awareness about the management and guidelines. This case is important and significant as it details the appropriate guidelines and structure to follow amongst this unique, and vulnerable to complications, population in order to manage a potentially devastating manifestation of C. diff.
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