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Pauline, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 8631
Experience:  Medical Doctor & Registered Pharmacist. Worked as Community pharmacist for 17 years.
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I was diagnosed in 2006 with MRSA from a hysterectomy. I had

Customer Question

I was diagnosed in 2006 with MRSA from a hysterectomy. I had the necrosis at incision site. I have been battling with the MRSA since then. Since May 2009 I have had breakout after breakout, June I had a PICC line inserted with 14 days of Cubicin. Then out around July 3rd. I had another infection in my leg and had another PICC line inserted for 40 days 2 weeks of Cubicin (did not respond) then switched to Tigacycline for 2 weeks. I had the PICC taken out last thurs, Sept 24, 2009 and Now it is exactly a week and I have another infection. I am wondering should my dr. be taking blood cultures? How common is this for it to happen this quick after a round of antibiotics IV. Now my dr is sending me to a dermatologists. I need answers!! Thanks
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Pauline replied 8 years ago.

What infection do you have at the moment?

Have you had a fever?

Do you happen to know any of your blood tests?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I have MRSA on my face

no fever that I know of except for around the infection (have been extremely cold though)

No, I don't know the blood test, last thursday my WBC was 8.3 Hope this helps

Expert:  Pauline replied 8 years ago.

Without a fever then it is unlikely you had bacteraemia that would be positive on blood culture, however being very cold (hypothermic) can also indicate severe infection and blood cultures would be done as part of a sepsis screen.

The infection on your face would need to be swabbed to confirm the exact bacteria however I would suggest that you start to use an antibacterial soap or shower wash to reduce your overall skin contaminants.

The 8.3 WBC is actually good considering your history

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I do use hibiclens everyday, I wash my white sheets in bleach everyday, I do all the things they tell me to it just keeps coming back.

Just being cold with No actual fever, would be a call for a blood culture? what is sepsis?

Expert:  Pauline replied 8 years ago.

Sepsis is a term that we use when patients have clinical symptoms such as chills, rigors or fever and formal measurements to include:

temp: under 36C or over 38C

heart rate over 90 beats per min

respiration rate over 20 per min

and White cells either over 12 or under 4

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
should I put my foot down with the ID doctor that has never cultured anything or go to the plastic surgeon or the dermatologists he referred me to? I don't know where to go! He said there is NO need to see me. So apparently he has given up. So do I ask for the blood cultures?
Expert:  Pauline replied 8 years ago.

You need a follow up MRSA screen to determine the effectiveness of your treatment.

I would suggest nasal swab, groin swab as well as swab of the wound (if moist) and a swab of the skin where the breakout is. That will confirm your current status.

At the moment I do not think blood cultures will be positive after all the treatment you have had, however if temperature, heart rate and white cells rise again then I would take 3 sets of blood cultures at that point.