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Heart infection and a leaky valve , need some positive stories please

(55 Posts)
travellingwilbury Sat 20-Nov-10 09:07:47

My brother is in hospital with this , went to see him last night and he seems ok in himself but obviously very scared .

He is on antibiotics to try and sort out infection which we will know if working in the next day or two . But they have also told him he has got a very leaky valve which needs to be sorted asap .Infection is obviously making this worse .

Just freaking out a bit for him and trying to be sensible and not panic .

Any advice would be really appreciated .

travellingwilbury Sat 20-Nov-10 10:48:20

nobody ?

blinks Sat 20-Nov-10 10:57:04

no experience but i hope he feels better soon.

nightcat Sat 20-Nov-10 11:09:14

leaky valve can be a cause of infection, so prob a priority

travellingwilbury Sat 20-Nov-10 11:52:45

Thank you , they are going to have to replace the valve but don't want to do it until the infection is clear .

Just hate having to wait around for the weekend to see if these meds are working .

providentielle Sat 20-Nov-10 14:22:40

Hi, my mil has had two heart valve replacement ops, her second was in Feb this year and went really well. She has other health problems which meant the surgery was very risky but had to be done. She came round the same evening and I saw her within the first hour, she was sitting up and in no pain, obviously on lots of medication but pain was managed really well. Within 2 days she was walking about as it is very important to get the patients moving about again quickly. She had a nurse coming round for a while to do check ups and had physio appointments to attend. You cannoy drive for 6 weeks after and then need to get permission from the surgeon.

If you have any specific questions pls ask and I will tell you what I can

frasersmummy Sat 20-Nov-10 14:28:55

sorry tw no advice... just lots of hugs coming your way and we will remember your brother in our prayers tonight

CazandBelle Sat 20-Nov-10 15:46:51

No advice TW but thinking of you and your brother xx

travellingwilbury Sat 20-Nov-10 16:26:41

Thank you , all of you , providentielle I am sure I will be back to ask more questions , thanks for the offer . My dad has travelled down to see him today so just waiting around for a phone call to see if they have any more news .

I am keeping everything crossed that the abs have kicked in and the infection is under control .

Feel so bloody helpless !

stanausauruswrecks Sat 20-Nov-10 16:51:01

have to feed kids their tea, but will get back to you later with some info.

stanausauruswrecks Sat 20-Nov-10 18:46:28

The good news is that your DB has been diagnosed and is being treated. The timing of the surgery to replace the leaking valve will depend on how he responds to antibiotics, so the surgical team will want to see that his inflammatory markers are on the way down, and that he is in the best physical condition possible for the op. The surgery will take around about 4-5hours and I would expect him to be on intensive care for at least 24hours after surgery. The antibiotics will continue for a until he has completed (usually) a total of 6 weeks.

triplets Sun 21-Nov-10 19:41:53

Is it his mitral valve? That is the common one to be leaky. I found out when I was 42 that I have a leaky mitral valve, the cardiologist said 20% of the population can have one and rarely show symptems. If I have say dental work done they give me antibiotics first to stop inf getting into the leaky valve. He will be fine

EsmeWeatherwax Sun 21-Nov-10 19:50:57

My father had a valve replacement op ten or so years ago and is still going strong, and he's 76! All the best to your family.

travellingwilbury Mon 22-Nov-10 09:33:21

Thank you for the info , I am feeling a bit calmer but still doing my share of pacing .

Think they are going to transfer him to a more specialist hospital today so hopefully we will get a clearer idea on how the infection is getting on .

I suppose my biggest fear is the valve doesn't hold on long enough to get the infection clear (looking at 6 weeks of injecting antibiotics)

stanau do you think they would operate while still infected or are they likely to wait until after the 6 weeks ?
(sorry I know you have no crystal ball just wondered on average)

stanausauruswrecks Mon 22-Nov-10 10:04:29

Usually they will wait until the blood cultures are coming back negative and White cell count,ESR and CRP (markers for infection) are on a consistently downward trend- indicating that the infection is under control. For most patients this will be a week or two week of antibiotics.The aim would be to operate before there is any deterioration in heart function. Out of interst which hospital is he being transferred to? (will understand if you don't want to say)

travellingwilbury Mon 22-Nov-10 10:19:44

St Georges in Tooting

Thank you for answering me , I think he is under the impression they will wait but I had thought they probably wouldn't

messylittlemonkey Mon 22-Nov-10 10:24:50


I was found to have a leaky mitral valve about 6 years ago. Not sure if it as always been like that or if it came about as a result of pleurisy which I had a couple of years before that.

Mine was picked up during a routine chest examination when I had a bad cough - I never had any symptoms or anything.

I was sent for an ecg and an echo on Christmas Eve! The results showed my valve was quite leaky and regurgitating quite a bit too, so blood is flowing back the wrong way and over time can cause the heart to become enlarged. I was told that surgery was likely in the medium term.

I saw the cardiologist every year to begin with, but after three years was told that it's all stable, and although I have a borderline enlarged heart, it's coping well and was told I didn't need to see cardio again for five years.

I did loads of research and have had two children since the diagnosis, both with no problems heart-wise. I'm usualy given antibiotics if I go to the dentist as infection is a risk, and also after my two c-sections, but I can honestly say once you get over the shock of having a dicky ticker, it's okay!

I wish your brother luck with getting better and hopefully it won't be too bad.

travellingwilbury Mon 22-Nov-10 10:35:44

Thanks messy and I am glad that yours has beahved itself for you . I think if he had ust the leaky valve or just the infection then we would all be feeling a bit calmer but having both just seems to be a bit grim .

In a way I am glad to hear that it will probably be earlier than the 6 weeks (not entirely sure he will be but I won't be telling him that possibility , will leave all that to his doctors) Just want him sorted as soon as .

He just seemed to go from one piece of bad news to another on saturday , he even asked the consultant what his chances were and he told him he had a one in five chance of not making it (why the hell he asked I don't know )but we do know that the abs have kicked in a bit now . Temp is better and night sweats have pretty much gone so all on the right track .

Just bloody scary when it is the heart isn't it ?

He is incredibly fit so this should go in his favour I presume .

messylittlemonkey Mon 22-Nov-10 10:53:11

Definitly being fit will help.

As you say, anything heart related is scary, you think that's it, game over.

When I read up about surgery, it all sounded pretty positive in terms of outcome.

I would have thought they'd want to get him sorted asap.

Good luck.

travellingwilbury Mon 22-Nov-10 10:58:04

Thanks messy , trying to steer clear of the evil that is googling medical stuff for as long as possible so it is really helping to be able to talk about it on here .

messylittlemonkey Mon 22-Nov-10 11:07:50

I know, googling only ever adds to the fear!

However, if you look on websites like British Heart Foundation it's quite useful.

travellingwilbury Mon 22-Nov-10 11:15:13

Thanks for that I will have a look .

travellingwilbury Tue 23-Nov-10 14:17:57

Just found out that they are moving him today .
I know it is a better hospital so I am pleased but qlso worried that they feel that is where he needs to be .

iyswim confused

stanausauruswrecks Tue 23-Nov-10 15:42:19

It is good that he's going to a specialist unit - they'll be more familiar with the management of endocarditis there, and the surgical team will be able to assess when they need to operate. Like you said, the fact he is extremely fit will stand him in good stead for his recovery afterwards.
Hope you're ok too!

travellingwilbury Tue 23-Nov-10 16:43:13

Thanks , a whole lot of pacing going on here , I have got a 4 yr old and a 6 yr old so can't just up and be with him as much as I would like .

Trying to keep things normal for them but it's a bit tricky .

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