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Rubor, Dolor, Calor, Tumor

I leave for a few days and look what happens.

Mark Crislip, MD, Infectious Diseases, 11:44PM Jul 15, 2013

One day of vacation time equals three days of work day. Or so it seems. I was gone for 4 days to talk at TAM in Las Vegas, and I get back and the work that piled up in such a short absence seems so much more than what would have occurred had I been at work. Vacation is like Fairie, it moves at a different rate than the mortal world. I am spending all my reading time in the Dresden Files, so some of you may understand.

Two consults today were cares for things I have railed about in the past.

The first was a chronic cellulitis. Remember, cellulitis, diffuse erythroderma from bacteria, is never, ever, never, ever, never, ever chronic. Never. Ever.

I cured the alleged chronic infection the same way I always do: I held the leg higher than the heart and within seconds the redness was gone. Post infectious swelling and redness.

Listen up: you cannot tell anything about a cellulitis if the leg is not higher than the heart. The rubor, dolor, calor, tumor of cellulitis does not recede with elevation. The patient was happy to stop the antibiotics and go on his way.

The other was less benign. The patient has MRSA bacteremia without an obvious source. Maybe skin, maybe dialysis site. A TTE is negative and she is sent out on two weeks of vancomycin, despite the fact the MIC is 1.0 and the patient has both an aortic valve replacement and a mitral valve repair.

Needless to say, the patient relapsed with MRSA bacteremia and the TEE shows a mitral valve vegetation and the AVR looks clean. It isn't. If the patient has endovascular hardware, prosthetic valve or pacer, you have to evaluate and treat as if the endovascular hardware is infected.

"In this investigation, approximately half of all patients with prosthetic valves who developed S. aureus bacteremia had definite endocarditis. The risk of endocarditis was independent of the type, location, or age of the prosthetic valve. The mortality of prosthetic valve endocarditis is high. All patients with a prosthetic valve who develop S. aureus bacteremia should be aggressively screened and followed for endocarditis."

Two weeks of IV therapy is limited to the totally normal people with MSSA.

And call an ID doc for S. aureus bacteremia. An ID consult is beneficial. It improves morbidity and mortality.

"Only one third of patients with S. aureus bacteremia in this cohort had an infectious diseases specialist consultation. Infectious diseases consultation was independently associated with a reduction in 28-day mortality. Routine infectious diseases consultation should be considered for patients with S. aureus bacteremia, especially those with greater severity of illness or multiple comorbidities."

Don't wing it unless your name is Dunning-Kruger.

Look what happens when I go away for even a short time:

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere bacteremia is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The correct diagnosis and treatment is drowned;

The best lack all knowledge, while the worst

Have prescription privileges."

    [William Butler Yeats] 


Am J Med. 2010 Jul;123(7):631-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2010.01.015. Epub 2010 May 20. The value of infectious diseases consultation in Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia. One of many.

Am J Med.]2005 Mar;118(3):225-9. Risk of endocarditis among patients with prosthetic valves and Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia.

About This Blog

For the Benefit of Mr Kite, there will be ID tonight. Infectious Diseases! Antibiotics! Viruses and Bacteria and Fungi! Oh my! Exclamation marks!!!!!! No trampolines, nor will any band be playing at 10 to 6. And Henry the Horse died of the Strangles. Sorry. That's the problem with infections.

The endless excitement that is the daily practice of Infectious Diseases in a Portland teaching hospital! The need for meta data!

Every day I make infectious disease rounds in the hospital and see at least one cool case or learn something new. 25 years and I still do not know everything. Why be selfish and keep all of that wonder and knowledge to myself? This blog will be a mostly qod account of days events, a cool ID case, a referenced pearl, and a minimum of 1 horrible, yet ultimately feeble, attempt at humor. I write these at night or in spare moments. There is always someone who will quibble about spelling, punctuation or grammer. My response is live with it. It's a blog, not Mandel.

Read and listen to more of me at my multimedia empire linked below.
Because The World Needs More Mark Crislip (tm).

Disclosure: Mark A. Crislip, MD, has disclosed the following relevant financial relationships:
Received income in an amount equal to or greater than $250 from: Pusware LLC
Have a 5% or greater equity interest in: Pusware LLC (owner)

  • Mark Crislip

    Mark Crislip, MD, has been practicing in infectious diseases in Portland, Oregon, since 1990. He is nobody from nowhere, but he has an enormous ego that leads him to think someone might care about what he has to say about infectious diseases. And so he blogs and podcasts and writes on the most endlessly fascinating specialty in all of medicine.

    Mark A. Crislip, MD, has disclosed the following relevant financial relationships: Owner, Pusware LLC. He as not talked to a drug rep in over 25 years and does not even eat the pizza provided at conferences. But he is for sale for the right price. Please. Someone. Buy me.

The content of this blog does not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of Medscape.
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