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Dad in ICU with infection after heart bypass- anyone had experience of this. Thanks

(26 Posts)
anastasia74 Tue 07-Jul-09 21:55:59

My dad had a heart bypass a week ago - after being at home one day he started to become breathless and was rushed to hospital. He is now in ICU, with an infection in stomach/lung area - they don't seem to know what is causing it. Any one had experience of these sort of complications after bypass. Thanks.

stanausauruswrecks Wed 08-Jul-09 10:03:50

Anastasia, so sorry to hear that your dad is so poorly. It's difficult to give you specific information without knowing more about where the problem is, as ther can be a number of different causes for the kind of symptoms you described in your previous post. Hopefully the staff at the hospital have answered your questions by now, but am around if you have any questions about the answers (IYSWIM!) Hope your dad is improving.

anastasia74 Fri 10-Jul-09 21:45:36

Thanks for your post stanausaurus. Just home from the hospital. Dad stablized. His vitals are all ok they say and his stomach infection seems to be under control, but now is left with lung infection which seems to be more difficult to get rid of. started on new anti-biotics todays to help with it. He's got very high temperature at moment. He looks so poorly, he's got oxygen pack on his face to help his breathing, which he is still having difficulty with. Nurse is giving him something to help him sleep tonight- he's so exhausted. Staff have been great in answering questions. I suppose we just expect more improvement by now, so are getting scared about future. So, tomorrow we are all praying that he will turn the corner.

sunburntats Fri 10-Jul-09 21:51:12

Write any questions down that you think of and take them with you when you visit.
If he is in ICU he should have his own special nurse looking after him either one to one or one to two. They will be happy to answer and explain.

Hope he is doing ok tomorrow after a really good nights sleep.

anastasia74 Fri 10-Jul-09 22:19:52

Thanks sunburntats thats very useful advice.

expatinscotland Fri 10-Jul-09 22:22:52

yes! this happened to my dad when he had his triple bypass.

you have my sympathies.

my dad was put on IV antibiotics and fortunately this stemmed the tide.

it's common, apparently, as bypass is such a big operation.

hopefully the new antibiotics will sort hings out for him.

keep us posted!

anastasia74 Fri 10-Jul-09 22:33:04

Thanks for your post expat. We were told this happens 1 in 100 cases. Can I ask how long it was before your dad started improving and how long he was in hospital for?

expatinscotland Sat 11-Jul-09 00:05:56

My dad didn't start really improving until about day 4 after he was re-hospitalised. He fell ill exactly 5 days after his op whilst still in hospital.

He was in a total of 11 days after that.

Poor chap!

He had his own room, too, to keep the risk of contracting a further infection away.

expatinscotland Sat 11-Jul-09 00:08:03

Sorry, x-posted as am on silly sex thread and not paying attention.

He was in a semi-private room then fell ill and went to a private room.

This was in the US where usually you share a room with only one other person at a max.

If you're elderly, 65+, that all the Medicare/state healthcare will pay for unless there's a reason. Like you get an infection and therefore need your own room.

stanausauruswrecks Sat 11-Jul-09 09:40:12

It's amazing the difference a decent night's sleep will make (I know, cos I haven't had one since DD arrived 6 weeks ago wink) If they have changed antibiotics, it's likely to be on the advice from microbiology- so they have grown a bug from his sputum, and have now got him on the specific AB to treat it. He needs to do his breathing exercises to clear the sputum from his chest, and make sure he takes his painkillers regularly to ensure he's comfortable doing the deep breathing. Usually patients are on a weeks worth of AB's but are usually discharged after a few days, once their chest X ray has shown improvement,temerature is down and stable and they are able to get up and about, getting themselves washed/dressed etc.

anastasia74 Sat 11-Jul-09 21:05:26

Thanks for your advise everyone, very sad news, I'm devastated- my dad passed away at midday today while we were there. We were told by doctors that last night he went into heart failure, and was put on a ventilator during the night, poor dad he went through so much, I'm heartbroken.

stanausauruswrecks Sat 11-Jul-09 21:51:29

Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss x

anastasia74 Sun 12-Jul-09 09:56:57

thanks stanaus, I find it easier to write about feelings on here,can't talk to anyone about it just yet,I know its early days, but need to be strong for my mum. expatinscotland could you give me any details about how the medical staff became aware of your dads problems on day 5 - was it through a test or was it his symptoms? As we are feeling that my dad was discharged too early without enough care. Just feel we need to try and make sense of what went wrong as this is such a common operation these days and don't know of anyone else who have any problems. His doctor came to see him when he was in icu and told him it was a 1 in 100 chance of this happening. Thanks

expatinscotland Sun 12-Jul-09 10:07:31

oh, anastasia, i am so sorry for your loss!

RumourOfAHurricane Sun 12-Jul-09 11:11:17

Message withdrawn

anastasia74 Sun 12-Jul-09 16:19:15

Thanks for your comments -its comforting. Is there anyone else out there who has lost someone after a heart bypass. Or recovered from infections in stomach/lungs. I think at the moment we are still numb with shock and feel like he is still in the hospital, feel it would help to know that everything was done that was possible to help my dad, but feel like the after care let him down. Thanks.

expatinscotland Sun 12-Jul-09 16:24:09

my dad spiked a fever and started finding it hard to breathe, that's how his infection was caught. it was in his lungs. he is a smoker of many decades and has had some nasty bouts of pneumonia as he ages and especially after he had the bypass (he has also had angioplasty).

interestingly, though, the trend in the US, where he lives, is to discharge patients as quickly as possible BUT they usually have a nurse come to visit a couple of times a day or more if necessary.

this is done a) to keep costs down b) to lower MRSA and C.diff infection risk.

a lot of procedures which are done under GA and inpatient here are done under locals there as outpatients.

again i am so so sorry to read of your loss, anastasia.

anastasia74 Sun 12-Jul-09 17:20:53

Thanks expatinscotland, just feel a need to try and make sense of why he died.

expatinscotland Sun 12-Jul-09 18:47:09

Oh, anastasia! Bypass is a big surgery, possibly one of the biggest there is. And unforutnately it's done on someone who is already ill with advanced heart disease, or who may have other conditions like hypertension or stroke. It's a strain on a body that is already ill-equipped to deal with the other nasties - bacteria and viruses - that are out there. In addition such patients need things like anti-clotting drugs and are also still dealing with the drugs for anaesthesia in their already compromised bodies.

So it does come to pass that some will contract secondary infection and even sadder that some will just not be able to fight that off.

I don't mean this in any other way than to hopefully bring you some comfort.

We read the stuff my dad had signed before his operation and the accompanying leaflets and it does make for grim reading.

I'm so, so sorry your father passed away.

I so am. It could happen to my father, too, any day, with his history and his smoking.

Alittlebitrestless Sun 12-Jul-09 20:30:01

anastasia74 I am so sorry for your loss. What a terrible shock for you. I noticed this thread because my mum was in ICU. Sadly I lost her too.

My mum's situation was a bit different (she had complications following pneumonia). It is natural that you are questioning the care that he received. It is natural that the whole thing seems unbelievable at the moment. I think that in these days of such advanced medical science, it is difficult to comprehend that there are awful infections which have such terrible consequences. Sometimes, though, as expat says some infections are just too much to bear when people have underlying health problems.

Do you think a meeting with your dad's consultant or the ICU doctor might help so you can understand exactly what happened and ask any questions you want.

I really feel for you at the moment.

magso Mon 13-Jul-09 08:39:45

So so sorry for your loss Anastasia.

anastasia74 Mon 13-Jul-09 18:50:56

Thankyou expat,a littlebitrestless and magso.

I think that the problem is that generally bypass surgery is treated as a routine operation,got this opinion from what my dad said while in hospital and from the checks he had on his discharge day. It was as though he had just had a routine procedure. Also, yes these days we feel that any problem which developes can be overcome. Will never feel that again.

expatinscotland Mon 13-Jul-09 20:38:44

How are you today, anastasia? How is your mum, if she is about? How are your siblings if you have any? Your partner and children?

You are right, before my dad went in, it was just like, 'Sign this, sign that', here are your leaflets, blah blah blah.

We didn't let my mother see them, my sister and I, just went and looked at them and were all torn up realising how big it was.

And it's like, when your heart is that bad, when you're that ill, there really isn't a good alternative, you know.

Then my mum was pacing around, 'This could be it. Over 40 years (they were together 3 years before they married, and this was a few years ago).'

People forget how big a surgery it is, on a person who is already so ill, has had a heart attack or history of heart attack or stroke, too.

Or hypertension and/or diabetes.

Is elderly.

It's so hard.

We're thinking of you, anastasia, and your family.

I remember when my mother's father died, suddenly, of heart attack.

It took a bit for the shock to kick in.

Alittlebitrestless Tue 14-Jul-09 00:42:37

anastasia74, am glad you have posted again. How are you? As expat says our thoughts are with you. Please post again if it helps at all.

anastasia74 Tue 14-Jul-09 18:14:49

Thanks for your messages expat and alittlebitrestless.

Been a surreal day today.Been at mums tidying etc. She is keeping strong for me and my sister, I do worry about her, must be a terrible strain for her. They would have been celebrating 50 years of marriage this year.

The funeral people came to discuss arrangements. It was like it was all about someone else's dad, not mine. I also had to put announcement in local paper. Doesn't feel like its happening to me today. I can't even cry any more at the moment.

Just dreading next week. Then I know everything will feel very real.

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