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Rising Threat of Infections Unfazed by Antibiotics

March 2nd, 2010 . by TexasFred

Rising Threat of Infections Unfazed by Antibiotics

A minor-league pitcher in his younger days, Richard Armbruster kept playing baseball recreationally into his 70s, until his right hip started bothering him. Last February he went to a St. Louis hospital for what was to be a routine hip replacement.

By late March, Mr. Armbruster, then 78, was dead. After a series of postsurgical complications, the final blow was a bloodstream infection that sent him into shock and resisted treatment with antibiotics.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think my dad would walk in for a hip replacement and be dead two months later,” said Amy Fix, one of his daughters.

Not until the day Mr. Armbruster died did a laboratory culture identify the organism that had infected him: Acinetobacter baumannii.

Full Story Here:
Rising Threat of Infections Unfazed by Antibiotics

Acinetobacter baumannii. Iraq bacteria.

Some may call it coincidence, some may call it fate, maybe the hand of God was moving, I really don’t know what it was or why it happened, but my wife sent me the link to the above story and we were sitting here discussing events from August through November of last year when we nearly lost my daughter Lisa to acinetobacter baumannii. UNMC Researchers Note Growth Of Bacteria From Iraq.

We were talking about how sick she was, about how we nearly lost her and the baby, my little grandson. We were talking about how this story brought back the terrifying nightmare that is the killer known as acinetobacter baumannii, Iraq bacteria.

We were talking about how wonderful it was, the miracle we witnessed when Lisa had survived. The baby survived and is growing like a little weed. There’s a lot more here in regards to our plight with AB, H1N1 mutation found in some flu fatalities and there’s also this comment from Lisa after she was finally able to come home:

comment number 2 by: KrzyBeautiful
November 20th, 2009 at 5:10 PM

I am Fred’s daughter. And indeed it was the scariest time in my life. I almost didn’t make it home to my husband and kids.

You see…I had to fight. They need me, and I need them. Keith is 5 and Carson is 3 months. And it is such a sobering thought to know that I am the only woman to survive in LA.

And I can’t begin to imagine the toll this all has taken on my husband, parents, brother, sisters, and family. I am just thankful for their faith and the wisdom of my doctors.

But people be wise, you never think it will happen to you! Its always someone in another state, town, or country. Its never your sister, daughter, grand daughter, mother, or wife….until it is!!

Lisa has been, to date, the only person in Louisiana to survive this killer. We were both, the wife and I, reminiscing and very thankful that my beautiful daughter and grandson had survived.

Then the phone rang.

It was my son. There’s nothing unusual about him calling in the evening, it’s nothing out of the ordinary, he’s a Sheriffs Deputy and he works extra security jobs to pick up a few bucks and it gives us a chance to talk when he’s not under the stress of patrol duties.

Anyway, he asks me what I’m doing and I told him, we were sitting here talking about Lisa and Iraq Bacteria and that I was writing this post for today. What he told me next sent this post off in a totally different direction and sent chills up my spine.

My daughter-in-laws niece is in the hospital in Sulphur, La. and she has everything wrong with her that my daughter Lisa suffered last year except, so far, she hasn’t shown full blown signs of AB.

Her name is Brooke, she’s 18 years old and was 2 months pregnant when she got sick. She’s lost her baby. Brooke has ARDS, acute respiratory distress syndrome, H1N1 and pneumonia, all the same things that nearly killed my daughter Lisa.

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H1N1 mutation found in some flu fatalities

November 20th, 2009 . by TexasFred

H1N1 mutation found in some flu fatalities

OSLO - Norwegian health authorities said Friday they have discovered a potentially significant mutation in the H1N1 influenza strain that could be responsible for causing the severest symptoms among those infected.

“The mutation could be affecting the virus’ ability to go deeper into the respiratory system, thus causing more serious illness,” the Norwegian Institute of Public Health said in a statement.

The concern over mutation of the H1N1 virus came as health officials said the H1N1 virus is moving eastwards across Europe and Asia after appearing to peak in parts of western Europe and the United States, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

There are “early signs of a peak in disease activity in some areas of the northern hemisphere,” the WHO said in a statement Friday.

Full Story Here:
H1N1 mutation found in some flu fatalities

I broke down Wednesday and went to our local pharmacy and got my H1N1 vaccination. Not because anyone told me to do it, not because I was forced to, but because I am in that high risk category and because I don’t know if I can take another health scare like the one I had in March of 2008 when I ended up in ICU for a week.

I also think about the sheer hell my youngest daughter went through recently when she was hospitalized for the flu and it turned so severe that she was in ICU for 6 1/2 weeks, and a total of 9 weeks in the hospital over all.

At least 6,770 deaths have been recorded worldwide since the swine flu virus emerged in April, according to the latest WHO update which showed 520 known fatalities in the past week.

I know, in the grand scheme of things, that’s not a drop in the bucket compared to the overall number of people on this earth. I have heard the naysayers. I hope those naysayers aren’t faced with a decision at some point in time that places them, or a loved one, in a life or death situation.

It turns out, my daughter did contract the H1N1 virus, in addition to the other maladies she was suffering. She got lucky, she survived. Her baby, my grandson, survived too, and he’s growing like a weed. My daughter is getting stronger by the day but she is still immune deficient, high risk, even now. She has to be very careful about what she gets exposed to because her system is so depleted. The one thing she doesn’t have to worry about now is H1N1. She had it and survived, now her doctors are saying that she has a natural immunity to the H1N1 virus.

Authorities added they had no reason to believe the mutation had any implication for the effect of flu vaccines or antiviral drugs made by groups such as Roche, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis or AstraZeneca.

I have a couple of friends that are medical doctors, both are right-wing Conservatives and as anti-Obama as I am. Both of them advised me to take the H1N1 vaccine. Both assured me that it is safe. Both had taken it themselves, their family members have taken it and it wasn’t a case of being forced to do so, it is an act of common sense and prevention. An ounce of prevention may well turn out to be worth that pound of cure, especially if you’re in a high risk category with some pre-existing conditions.

I want to share something with my readers, this was written by my daughter Lisa. She is the one that was hospitalized recently. Many of you sent well wishes and prayers for her, the baby and all of our family, and these are HER words to you:

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UNMC Researchers Note Growth Of Bacteria From Iraq

September 17th, 2009 . by TexasFred

UNMC Researchers Note Growth Of Bacteria From Iraq

OMAHA, Neb. — A dangerous bacteria is finding its way to U.S. hospitals, and researchers said the super bug is connected to men and women who are back from serving in Iraq.

Experts said acinetobacter baumannii is not a significant problem yet, but two University of Nebraska Medical Center researchers are leading the charge to find a way to treat it. Dr. Paul Dunman and his team are conducting research on the bacteria.

“What’s particularly problematic, and why it’s becoming in the public eye more and more, is that strains of AB have developed resistance to all currently available antibiotics,” Dunman said.

Acinetobacter baumannii typically doesn’t affect a healthy individual, but is often lethal in individuals with a compromised immune system.

Full Story Here:
UNMC Researchers Note Growth Of Bacteria From Iraq

Many of you know that my daughter Lisa has been in ICU for almost a month now. She has been suffering from some kind of *Super Bug* and we had no real idea as to what it was or what to call it. She doesn’t have H1N1 but for lack of a viable name, the doctors were calling it *The Flu*.

Now we know what it is that nearly killed my daughter. It’s called acinetobacter baumannii, or AB for short. Some refer to it as Iraq Bacteria.

My daughter hasn’t been to Iraq. She hasn’t, as far as we know, been in contact with anyone that has recently returned from Iraq. Therein lies one of the problems.

She was pregnant and got very ill, and was admitted to the hospital in the small town where she lives. They had to take her baby 11 weeks early, but he is doing great, growing like a weed and doing a lot of really cool newborn stuff.

His Mom, my daughter, was thought to be suffering a type of flu by the local doctors, but right after the baby was born, my daughter took a serious turn for the worse and was admitted to ICU. So, as she was being treated in the local small town hospital, she was getting worse by the hour. Nothing they did was working, it had NO effect at all. She was flown via medical helicopter to a major medical center and she has been in their ICU for about 2 weeks now.

They seem to think that she may have been exposed while in the other hospital, and due to her weakened condition, pregnant, flu and the like, that may be why, and how she became infected with AB.

Dr. Peter Iwen oversees the lab results at UNMC and is helping Dunman with his research. He has been looking for acinetobacter baumannii in lab results from the Med Center for the past 18 months. Iwen said he has 24 patients in his database that are infected with the organism and many of them are elderly.

“We have seen patients infected with it. We’ve also seen people who are colonized who don’t have an infection, but it’s found in one of their body sites, for instance, as a potential source of infection if they were to become compromised,” Iwen said.

Iwen said that AB is in most U.S. hospitals and can colonize on any surface. It is spread when a healthy individual touches that surface then contaminates another.

And after hearing the details from folks in south Louisiana, where my daughter is, I did a Google and this story is what I found. It more than explained the questions I was asking. But, I was told that rumor has it, Center for Disease Control is trying their best to keep a lid on this thing. Fear of the panic it may incur if folks think there is an untreatable *Super Bug* out there.

I don’t know if there IS a cure for this AB per se, but I know this, my daughter IS getting better, much better, and the doctors are still pumping her full of antibiotics. The word is, 10 days to 2 weeks more in the ICU, and then moved to a room to finish recovery.

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