White Cell Count Going Down

January 16, 2017

This morning’s blood work came back with some good news. Den’s White Cell count is going down! When he was admitted the count was 16.4. This morning it is 11.4! That means the antibiotics are working. We also found out that the same bacteria that is causing the infection was also found in his urine sample from last night. Houston, we may have a cause for the blood infection!

Den has more appetite today than since he got here. He ate a good breakfast…..eggs, yogurt, fruit cup and some juice. It is always good to see him eat a good meal when his appetite has been off for a few days.

Den is still getting IV antibiotics, 3 rounds of one and 2 of the other. Otherwise, he is getting his usual meds in pill form. Another bit of good news is that his vials have been stable since his admission. I’ll take any good news that I can get right now! After rounds, Den asked if I would help him get cleaned up. So I asked the nurse for some extra towels and a dressing kit. I helped Den with a sponge bath and then did his dressing change. He felt a lot better after…he said, “almost human.”

One hiccup Den had been having was some speed fluctuations with his LVAD. The nurses had noted it several times and the LVAD Team decided to try dropping his speed to see if that would stop the fluctuations. They dropped his speed to 5300 and ordered an echo-cardiogram to make sure that there had been not changes in his heart function.

The blood cultures finally came back today. The bacterial in the blood is gram-negative. This means that the little buggers can be hard to kill off. They are resistant to many antibiotics, so Den needs a very specific antibiotic to make sure to kill this one. The staff let us know that Den would need to be on a daily antibiotic for the rest of his life to make sure that the infection does not return. The way it was explained was….Organs can be “washed” with the antibiotic to kill any bacteria that could be lurking in the tissues, but the LVAD could not. So there is a possibility that just on bacterial rod could still be left and it would grow and multiply and we would be back again and again. Hence, a daily antibiotic for life.

After lunch, Den has some serious episodes of V-Tach. This is where the lower chambers of the heart beat too fast. It is caused by inproper electrical signals in the heart. More blood was drawn to see if Den’s Magnesium and Potassium levels were normal. It was also found that Den was a little dehydrated, so he got some IV fluids to “bulk up” his blood.

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