SBO and c diff?


Days ago, this pt was tested + for C Diff. However, she had an abd x-ray done and findings were suggestive of SBO. After the x-ray, she had a CT of abd/pelvis w/o contrast done. Notified the MD that x-ray showed possible SBO, but CT showed negative otherwise. MD still wanted to insert a NG tube to low suction (output has been 1200 ml green bile for about 4 hrs). She also re-ordered for another c diff stool specimen to be done.

Now my question is... and I've tried to look online for the answer. I'm a new grad so forgive me if this may seem like a stupid question... but can a pt have SBO with c diff at the same time? If not, then what is the main patho behind it?

Thanks for any response

Tait, MSN, RN

6 Articles; 2,140 Posts

Specializes in Acute Care Cardiac, Education, Prof Practice. Has 16 years experience.

There is a lot of information on this patient that would be needed to determine anything from my point of view. SBO to me usually means constriction related to adhesions, or ileus post surgery, medications etc. Not really sure why a bacterial infection would lead to SBO unless the inflammation is so bad it somehow closed off the intestines? Where in the tract is the SBO? Is the patient on any chronic constipating meds? What is the history of antibiotic use? Why does the patient have c-diff? I am just hitting balls into left field here sorry.


nurseprnRN, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 5,114 Posts

Clostridium difficile is an infectious agent. A small bowel obstruction is a mechanical event. Sure, you can always have more than one thing wrong with you. They don't necessarily have to have causation connecting them.