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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 17552
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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My father has been recovering from heart valve surgery and

Customer Question

My father has been recovering from heart valve surgery and developed a fungal infection that is eating away at his skin. Please provide a diagnosis and the best way to go about treating this infection?
http://imgur.com/YK6A8Hl
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Hello from JustAnswer.

This looks to be worse than a fungal infection. Fungal infections can get severe, but it is far more common for this to occur with a bacterial infection and this appears to be more of a bacterial infection. It is possible that it started as a fungal infection and then a secondary bacterial infection developed, with the bacterial infection now being the predominant issue.

The treatment of this would first involve a culture to identify the specific germ that is involved. Most bacterial infections of the skin are due to common skin germs, such as certain types of Strep or Staph, but someone with a recent hospital stay is at increased risk of other germs or resistant germs, including resistant forms of Staph. The usual treatment would be an antibiotic. Initially, an empiric antibiotic, such as Keflex or Bactrim, would be reasonable, but then the antibiotic selection can be tailored to the germ that is identified on the culture, as appropriate.

It also may help to debride some of this tissue, either by surgery or by wound care therapists, such as with whirlpool treatments.

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

If I can provide any further information, please let me know.

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