characteristic c-diff odor??

  1. HI..
    GOT a question........
    I have ben researching c-diff the last couple days..to broaden my learning on it.....
    But I have also heard that when a pt. has c-diff there is a characteristic smell to the BM....
    WHAt's it smell like?
    (I :imbar
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  2. 59 Comments

  3. by   P_RN
    I can't smell anymore, but it used to be like a stable or barn-like "fragrance."
  4. by   FullMoonMadness
    Cant really do it justice. Its very foul and loud. and once you have smelled it,you will never forget it.
  5. by   Sleepyeyes
    yeah, it's a real gag-me-out-the-door smell. worse because you hafta smell it so doggoned OFTEN.
  6. by   TNcanNURSE
    Its difficult to describe if you've never smelled it.
    BUT
    Rest assured that when you come across a patient who may have C-diff diarrhea. It will have such a BEYOND AWFUL. way worse than ordinary stench that you will surely recognize that something is going on. The smell combined with the SX and HX = CDiff.

    You can't miss it because it will slap you in the face.
  7. by   sunnygirl272
    and it [frequently]has that orange, gelatinous mucousy look...and the smell is one you never forget and will spot from the doorway once you learn it....
  8. by   rachel h
    What everyone else has said- once you smell it, you will know. It's just bitter and very foul...
  9. by   SandyB
    Agree with all of you...no way to describe it but once you smell it, you never forget.
  10. by   frannybee
    We have 2 pts with C.diff at the moment...not pretty. I've *never* had a problem with cleaning up faeces til this week and now I dread it.
  11. by   RNonsense
    *hold nose*

    .....oh you will know!
  12. by   Inge Allen
    The C Diff smell has always reminded me of breast-fed babies' stool.
    At our hospital, we refer to it as "The Whiff of the Diff"!
  13. by   ERNurse752
    One word pretty much describes it:

    BAD!




  14. by   mario_ragucci
    Human sense of smell, and identifying what we can smell is of great interest to me. From the first time I heard about C-diff making a identifyable smell, i have "smelt" for it. I have not been able to identify it. Even with the PT's who are in Isolation because of it... I have not been able to zero this smell.
    Chemo-receptors are varied from person to person. What i can smell, you may not be able to - right?
    I have been able to detect a familiarity of stool smells with the PT's that are on TPN, or vivonex.
    If you think about it, the smell of our stool is directly related to our health, and what we eat, and our individual, transit times. Some of the worst smelling stools, IMHO, come from folks who are older, on various drugs, and have a slow transit time.

    I apologize if I offended anyone with trying to talk about this sensibly. Remember: I'm just a guy (grin)

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