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E-Coli in Blood & Urine

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Old 05-22-2010, 10:01 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Council Bluffs, Iowa
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slkanger HB User
E-Coli in Blood & Urine

My husband, 61 yr old, had a massive stroke in December and has been in the hospital and now a nursing home. He was taken to the ER on Wed evening because he wasn't responding to us. He was running a fever of 101.5 that morning. His feeding tube was leaking that day also. He was admitted and they did blood cultures and found he has e-coli in the bloodstream and urine. Plus in his trach, he has an infection, but the results weren't clear what that was for sure. He had some open wounds on his bottom about 6 weeks ago. No open wounds now. How could he have gotten e-coli?

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Old 05-25-2010, 03:04 PM   #2
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Re: E-Coli in Blood & Urine

Hi there,

I'm very sorry to hear about your husband. E. coli is a bacteria which is mostly found in our GI tracts and large amounts of it are excreted with the stool every day. On a regular day, healthy indivuduals' legs end up being covered in stool bacteria by the end of the day just due to the legs' proximity to the anus. This is not a big problem because we can move around, and we shower every day to clean ourselves. Thiis is not hte case with people who are in hospital and are relatively immobile--notably patients who've had strokes. Even if they are NOT soiling themselves with stool, they still are lying in bed unable to properly shower so the stool bugs (notably E. coli) are able to colonize the legs, then the abdominal/chest wall and then eventually the mouth! This is why gram negative infections like E. coli are more common in hospital patients.

Does your husband have a urinary catheter? Oftentimes this can cause small tears in the urethra which allow for the entrance of E. coli in to the blood. Even without an infection, urinary infections in hospital patients can lead to seeding of the blood and a disseminated infection.

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