While Larry was on the ventilator in the ICU after his surgery, He had a nurse that was on duty but was not tending to his needs like his other nurses. The nurses were supposed to turn him every few hours so they don't get bed sores. This nurse only turned him once during her 12 hour shift and when she turned him, she rolled him on his LVAD controller (explained in the last blog). Not realizing what she did, she left him on his controller for hours upon hours because she neglected to do her job. This controller gets so hot, if it is not exposed to air and in turn burned his upper left thigh. I noticed the burn when the night nurse began her shift and turned him. As she was turning him, I asked what the large spot on his leg was, and she was not sure, she thought maybe it was due to the controller or maybe something they had done in the surgery a few days prior.
Once he was off of the ventilator and moved to the 7200 floor, we realized that the burn had started oozing and draining. So the nurses gave us some vaseline like cream to put on it. They continued to put this on him a few times a day and gave us some to take home once he was discharged. Everyone asked what it was, and no one had a clue what the wound was from. We even asked the surgeon and the surgeon said there is nothing they would have done during the surgery that would have caused this burn. The nurses on the 7200 floor thought it might have come from the LVAD controller.
Two weeks after he was moved to the 7200 floor, Larry was doing well and was discharged to go home, but the burn on his leg was still majorly draining. After we got home, the wound started getting really bad and draining and bleeding. Larry was home for a few days when we realized that the dressing we were putting on his wound was soaked through in a few minutes. Because it was a weekend, we couldnt really do much but it continued to get worse and worse and kept opening bigger and bigger. That Monday, Larry had a Dr. appt with the surgeon for a check up. Once we got there, they looked him over and as soon as they saw his thigh, they immediately said they needed to admit him to the hospital and do surgery to debreed the wound.
We then realized Larry had a major infection in his body. While he was home, he could barely move, and when he did he was in SO MUCH pain in his chest that he couldnt breathe very well. It took him 30 minutes to just get out of bed and walk a few feet to the bathroom. The infection from his thigh had spread to his chest. And unfortunately, the hospital did not send a home health care nurse to the house to check on him, so it got worse throughout the first week he was home. They diagnosed it as MRSA and he was put on a IV antibiotic that he had to take every 12 hours. He was in the hospital for another 3 weeks and then got to go home.
Because of the infection, Larry's chest incision did not heal either, and he had to continue to go in for more surgeries to debreed his chest wound and clean it out.
Jumping forward to present day, over a year after his original surgery, Larry's chest is still not completely healed. We still have to change the dressing every day, and unfortunately it will not heal until he gets his heart transplant. Due to the foreign object in his body (the LVAD) his body is not healing correctly and wont completely heal because of the MRSA infection that has attached itself to the LVAD.