Infections after valve surgery and before defibrialator

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sportsmom12

These last two weeks have been awful. My husband was in severe heart failure . After they drained 16 lbs of fluid, they did surgery(aorta valve) It seemed to go well. Then three days after the surgery, he was rushed back to ICU for a severe Vtac. They recommended a defibralator . But they can't put that in yet , as it appears he got an infection in his vein from the iv. They are treating it with mega antibotic doses. Now he might have a colon infection and oh by the way- they might have to cut his vein out.
I am worried what else can go wrong after the defibralator is put in. I know they won't be it in until the infection is gone- but I am scared of more complications.
 

Ross

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Welcome to the forum sportsmom12

Am I to assume that this is a Staph infection that is raging in him now? Right now, the most important thing is to kill that infection and it's a rough ride I know, on my last surgery I too, got a staph infection from the I.V. line. It took 6 weeks worth of Vancomycin, Rifampin, and I forget the other I had.

Unfortunately, it sounds like your both having one of those "Nightmare" scenarios. Both of my surgeries were like that too. The complications should end when this infection is under control. It's getting control that's the difficult part. Have the Doctors said anything about possibly having to replace the new valve? I don't want to bring that up, but it is a possibility if the infection has attached itself to the valve.

I don't want to scare you any further, your plate is full with this infection deal. I'll be praying for the both of you to come through this as quickly and complication free as possible. Please keep me informed of what's happening. :)
 

Nancy

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Welcome to this fantastic site. You certainly have had your share of terrible problems with your husband's situation. My husband is the patient here and has had a few of these problems, but not all at once. He's had Class 4 CHF, he's had to have his lung drained, he has had C Diff, which is severe ulcerative diarrhea type infection, and he's had an AVR. He missed the IV line infection, and the possible defibrillator, but he's got a pacemaker. He's also had 2 mitral valve surgeries (one to repair a leak), 2 lung surgeries, a serious bout of serum sickness, and a scary temp of 106.7 (both of those gave him a 10 day stay in the hospital, most in the ICU).

Last May he went in for gallbladder surgery and had a disastrous bleedout and almost lost his life. He needed 33 units of blood products to stop the bleed. It took him all summer to recover from that. Right now, he's in the hospital getting treatment for pulmonary hypertension, Class 4 CHF, and anemia. He's been there for 27 days now, but will be home soon, when his INR comes up to snuff. He's feeling a lot better, and lost 24 pounds of fluid. He'll probably be a ton of new medication when he comes home.

I'm telling you all of this to let you know that in spite of how serious things look now, there is every hope that your husband will recover and the human body can weather some pretty bad things. He's in the best possible place to get the job done. They'll take care of each problem one by one and although his stay will be an extended one you will have him home with you when he's better. I hoping that by the time they have it all straightened out, his heart rhythms will settle down and he won't have to have a defibrillator, but if he needs one, then he will be in good company. Our Vice President has one, Dick Cheney.

We have several members here who have had very major problems and have come through it all.

So don't lose faith, he can recover from this. I hope you will keep in touch with us all here and let us know how things are going on a daily basis, if you can.

Take care of yourself through this. He's going to need your help when he gets home.
 

joy

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Hi Sportsmom:) First of all I want to welcome you to our family. That is what we are. I never had the complications during my valve replacement surgery, but I did before it. I was 5 months pregnant and had no idea i had heart disease. I became very short of breath and decided that something wasn't right, so I drove myself to the ER. (my husband was asleep)I didn't know any of the symptoms of CHF, and was scared to death because I couldn't breath. I was in the hospital for 17 days, most of it in a coma. SOme of the things i suffered were, psuedomonas pnuemonia, ards, I think it was class 4 CHF(I gained more than twice my bodyweight-I was HUGE), and to top it all off, I was pregnant. I am 25 years old and I am still here to say that my baby made it...he is 20 months old, and extremely happy and healthy. NO joke, Erik weighs almost as much as his 4 year old brother, and he is almost as tall, very developementally ahead of schedule. THe impeccable(sp) care my doctors gave me, and the fact that I listened to them and took their advise, helped my baby be healthy, and me to be healthy and feel great! YOur husband will make it to this point. It just takes time! Keep us posted!
 

hensylee

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Hey Sports - I just read your post to Dr Rich and you can't believe how close I came to relating a bit of our dear Ross' story over there and inviting you to come here - must've been ESP because here you are. This is a very good place to come to find out all about valve replacement and related issues. Welcome to our home. There is so much to learn from others' personal experiences and support, as well. Our members stay right with you all along the road. Glad you got here. God bless:)
 

EVELYN

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Hi Sportsmom

Welcome to a great place....Please feel free to ask any questions, and keep asking, you'll find a multitude of opinions and support here. I'm so sorry your husband is having such difficulty. I will put you in my prayers now and chat later.

Evelyn
 

hensylee

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I just read Dr Rich's response to Sportsmom. If you care to read it, go to about.com , then into heart disease/cardiology (Dr Richard N Fogoros). His answer has much information that might help us in this form if this comes up again. I sent the page to Ross as it sounded much like his infections.
 

Ross

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Boy that really hit home for me! I shudder every time I think about it now. Unlike what Dr. Rich mentioned, I was sent home with a PICC line and about 2 1/2 weeks worth of I.V. Vancomycin. At the end of the therapy, I was seen by the Infectious Disease Doc and declared clean. I almost didn't make it, so I know just how serious this is. I was in the CSICU for 50 days and then sent straight to rehab for an additional 10 days.
 
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hensylee

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Have to say this so you all know - Dr Rich cannot recommend, advise or diagnose - by law - over the internet. He can give us the benefit of his vast knowledge, and does so every day and we can apply it to our own situations any way we can. He generalizes all the time and we get our answers that way. But he keeps reminding us of his disclaimer.

Sounds like his information to sportsmom is right on the money, don't you think so, Ross?
 
S

sportsmom12

Update on infections and hubby

Update on infections and hubby

Well, they delayed the defib surgery until they can figure out what is going on with my husband. I truly believe they are doing the right things. They are really trying to figure out what the infection is and where is it. Their best guess now is when they gave him antibodics for his arm, it killed the good bacteria in his colon and gave him a colon infection. His white blood cell count went from 17000 to 20000 today. They just took another blood culture and they are taking stool specimin. They should have more results in a couple days. I am trying to keep his spirits up by saying, his valve surgery recovery will be done with by the time they get him out of the hospital and he can go from the hospital to the golf course. I am glad they are keeping him in the hospital vs Ross going home!

I know Dr. Rich can't give out legal advise- but the things he mentions are good for me to ask.

thank you all and I will keep you posted
 

Ross

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I should mention that they did want to keep me, but I insisted on going home. I had had enough of the place by the end of 60 days. ;) At first, no insurance company wanted to pay for the I.V.'s at home, then they decided that they would at the last minute, so out the door I went just as fast as possible and I didn't want to look back.
 

hensylee

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Hey Sportsmom - I didn't mean you when I wrote that Dr Rich can't legally give advice, etc over the internet. I mentioned it because Ross used the word "recommendations" and just wanted to throw my comment in for the sake of Dr Rich. Mostly, because Dr Rich always says it himself.

I am glad they are working diligently on your husband's infection. It is always comforting to know that our doctors have our best welfare at heart. I pray that they will get this totally under control soon and that he can get on with his next surgery and then be HOME where it is the very best place to be.

Please keep us informed as we are always interested to know, once someone joins our great group. God bless
 
M

Mb

Hi!

Read this post with much interest. My husband also got an infection in his vein immediately post op. They put him on IV antibiotics as well, and it cleared up in about three days. Actually, I would say within one day, there was a definite improvement in his arm. This was October 2001.

This past fall, again, October, he had the flu and pneumonia shots.

He got an infection in the arm that had the pneumonia shot. Redness, and then a red line going to his arm pit. They immediately put him on IV antibiotics, and he had a shunt installed so that he could go to hospital for four days running to get the IV. When that stopped, he went on oral meds.

I will watch this post with interest, and I would like to know why some folks have this issue, and most don't. What is also interesting, is that my husband has a VERY sensitive digestive system, but has not had the additional problem you mentioned.

Thanks for the post!

Marybeth
 
M

Mb

Oh....I just remembered something else. When we saw my husbands cardio late October, he said he wanted to postpone pacemaker insertion until my husband "improved". I think that is because many folks who get a mechanical pacemaker/device will get an infection at the insertion site. Actually not "many" people, but it is one of things that can happen, and of course if your husband has an infection running through his system, it would not be a good thing to install the defibrillator until it is cleared up.

Mb
 

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