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Forum Name: Other infections

Question: Should I go to E.R.for MRSA testing?


 jodannymt - Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:55 pm

I am 34 year old female and had total thyroidectomy July 15th. Several days later I had to go to hospital for I.V. antibiotics because my incision was severely infected (swollen, bright red and oozing puss). I do not know if they tested me for MRSA, I would have to go to medical records tomorrow and find out. The incision got better but shortly after, about a week, if that, I started to have a SEVERE, HORRIBLE yeast infection that lasted over 2 months (after 4 rounds of antibiotics it has finally eased up in the past couple of days, The itching at times was literally unbearable) Over the past 3-4 weeks I have had 6-8 "boils" appear on both my sides (under arm on side of chest), on both legs and on my stomach. All of them have seemed like pimples to begin with but last longer and then bruise once they are popped or have drained. The one on my stomach has filled with puss every day or so since it appeared about 2 weeks ago and continues to be clearly visible. Over the past couple of weeks I have been having sudden lower back pain when I do simple things such as sweeping the floor. I have had excessive facial sweating as well, to the point where I carry a paper towel if I am going someplace like church to ease the embarrassment and discomfort. The sweating has eased up but comes and goes. Most recently, over the past 2 weeks I have had SEVERE fatigue, not functioning AT ALL like normal. 6 days ago I started to have respiratory symptoms, coughing and congestion and my voice is very raspy. I went to doctor today and my doctor non-chalantly mentioned MRSA, she took a swab and I guess the results will be back in 2 days. She started me on Levaquin as well. My question is- should I go to E.R. and be tested for MRSA or just wait for the 2 days? I've read so many horrible things about it, I don't want to take chances, but I also don't want to over-react. Your opinion is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 Shelly Hoppe EMTP - Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:19 pm

User avatar Greeting jodannymt:

The sample (swab) your doctor took will be sent to a lab to be cultured. The results take a couple of days because it has to be allowed time to grow and develop and then be tested for resistance to commonly used antibiotics. Your doctor will receive a report from the lab that will tell them whether the antibiotic you are currently taking will clear up the problem. You should always make your doctor aware of any new or worsening symptoms. Make a list and bring it with you to your next appointment and mark them off when they are addressed so you know you haven't missed anything. (it is a good idea to let the scheduler know that you have multiple issues to discuss so they can allow enough time to address them at your visit). Unfortunately going to the ER will not speed up the process.

Hope this helps.
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:33 am

User avatar Hello,

I agree with Shelly, your doctor will receive the results of the culture and sensitivity in few days. This will allow selection of the proper antibiotic that hopefully will eradicate the infection.

And as Shelly said which is actually a very good idea, you better make a list of concerns and address them with your doctor at your next appointment.

One of these concerns you should focus on is your latest complaint of excess sweating, generalized weakness, cough and respiratory problems. Your doctor might also recommend a blood culture to make sure that bacteria did not enter into the blood which is a serious condition and should be managed promptly.

She may also recommend new CBC, chest X-ray and Echocardiography based on the results of clinical examination and through history. You better be checked also for your thyroid function and blood sugar level. If the back pain persists a plain X-ray on the lumbosacral region will be helpful.

It is possible that you have a mixed infection (different types of organisms) or a resistant type of organism (e.g. MRSA), so your doctor may also consider infectious diseases consultant referral.

Please keep us updated.
Best regards.

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