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Thread: Cellulitis

  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Aug 2010
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    Cellulitis

    Here in the UK. I have become aware of the sad loss of life, to some who have undergone cardiac surgery. The patients have survived the surgery etc. However in several cases that I am aware of. Their quality of life has not been what one expected. In fact, outwardly. The individual has appeared to be worse after the medical procedure than before. Particularly in cases where arterys have been taken from the legs, to be used in bypass surgery. Remember. I am not a professional. I can only quote accounts as related to me. Apart from individuals general performance of daily life, sometimes perhaps it is mind over matter, that their general status seems to change. However. One prominent and disabling aspect arises. Cellulitis. My grandson aged 12 recently underwnt surgery for a fractured arm. Actually it was his second operation. This time, having had plates inserted. He healed quickly except for indications of swelling around the operated area. It was diagnosed as cellulitis. Fortunately antibiotics saved the day. Another case, and sadly, this patient has now died, of cellulitis. This lady, late seventies, early eighties. Had cardiac surgery. Never the same afterwards. Her legs swelled up, leakage from the flesh became unbearable. Such a loverly person. Her funeral is in a few days time. Perhaps this is not the place to ask. However. Truthfull answers always seem to be provided here. Can cellulitis be overcome?

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  3. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Trafpol View Post
    Can cellulitis be overcome?
    First, sorry about the sad news you shared.

    To your question, it is an interesting one. Cellulitis is often times a spreading bacterial infection underneath the skin surface. It can be identified by redness, warmth, swelling, and pain. Cellulitis commonly appears in areas where there is a break in the skin. So, if you get a cut, and as it heals, you note some red swelling skin around the cut, that is cellulitis in its most basic form.

    But it gets worse and there are a number of reasons why. Not all cellulitis is the same.

    There are variations of cellulitis too. Sometimes a fungal infection can be superimposed over a bacterial infection.

    Once a bacteria infects the skin, however it does, it starts replicating. It has a 'resistance is futile' attitude about overtaking the body. In the mean time, the body is fighting back. If antibiotics are used, it can both help and hurt in several ways.

    Sometimes, when people have massive cellulitis infections, they will often be given massive doses of antibiotics. One of the complications that often happens is DIC. This is a coagulopothy, a condition that results in the body bleeding out. Fortunately, there are a few cases where it has been reversed with bloodless techniques. Often it causes death. I have seen it happen in several instances.

    Then there is sepsis. When the infection in the skin gets into the blood and then the rest of the body, the body goes into septic shock.

    With all of these, there are numerous secondary things that could affect the outcome. Is the person affected by something compromising the immune system? Do they have other health problems that would make this even worse. One theory relates to the flora of the gut. The antibiotics kill them and then the gut cannot help the body fight the infection. You probably have heard a about Probiotics as the latest greatest newest supplement to take.

    Add to this that the drugs heart patients are given, end up depleting the body of some of the very vitamins and minerals that help the body fight the infection.

    Because there is often a lack of physical movement as well, there is a increased pooling of lymph (one of the ways the bacteria can get into the blood). We have two circulatory systems. One for blood and one for lymph. The lymph system is a one way circulation. It only works if there is exercise of the muscles. No exercise or movement, the greater the risk.

    So, a very young person can usually survive. The older or increase in number of other health problems, the greater the risk of death.

    There is a holistic component of this as well. A number of studies are showing that attitude affects outcomes of heart related diseases.

    The bottom line, there is no easy answer to your question.

    Hope this helps,

    Nurse Jon

  4. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Thank you Jon.

    A very clear and concise reply to my question. I thank you for your time.
    Mike.

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