Learn more about cardiac device infection rates and a patient’s story on his experience with pacemaker infection. Dr. Jude Clancy emphasizes the importance of patient education and empowering patients to speak up when there’s a disconnect between what they hear and feel relative to their heart health.
do mm My name is robert Costas. I was born with a congenital heart condition and it was like transportation of the greater arteries was born a blue baby. The cure for that was to put in a pacemaker that basically gives you a little tiny bit of an electrical charge to keep you from an elevated pulse. I went in, everything was great, no complications. They stitched me up. Everything seemed to be normal for the first week instead of shrinking. You know it just kept on expanding and expanding. I went back to the hospital where all the surgery was done the following week. They did blood cultures. They actually did like a swab on the scarred area and they had me do regular blood work and everything came back negative. Unfortunately that never healed and I kept on getting worse. Went back to the hospital, we get all kinds of tests again, blood cultures, the slobs, everything else and everything comes back negative. What would happen is in the evenings especially I would develop night sweats where I mean I would bed when I woke up was literally saturated. Mhm. Then I would also get into a little bit of a shaking spell. I had no idea what this was I called. And actually my regular family doctor told the lady what was going on. And that nurse said you have an open itis, that's what you're describing to me to without fault. She says I want you to go to the hospital and get it taken care of and when they did that test they saw the infection that was actually on the device in the league itself and they knew for sure what was happening and that's when dr Clancy comes in. So when I was first called to see bob and I first went to the chart and looked at the data and then went to talk to him and saw his wound. I was actually astonished that the situation had gone on to this point and I'm sure you were going through some scary thoughts because despite them telling you everything seems okay. You're getting worse and worse to go to the hospital and to talk to people and go, well, yes, it may look worse, but again, everything is coming back negative the same time. It's your body and you're just seeing this wound opening more and more. It's a little disconcerting to say the least. The key thing here is education and empowering the patients with the knowledge to know themselves that what they're hearing isn't the right course of action. Especially for someone like bob bob is a congenital heart patient. He not only has leads in but he has other hardware and from previous corrections of his heart. These are my symptoms. Please also listen to my symptoms and not just rely on a blood work. I can't emphasize enough to for lack of better words like ask the tough questions. I'm also one of those that believe things happen for a reason. So maybe this happened to me so that it won't happen to somebody else, mm.