Medical question, need opinions, I know you're not my doctor, etc.

The Fellow had a wreck in December, and a terrible ankle fracture - about 2 dozen pieces of metal holding his tibia and fibula together. (“We have the technology, we can rebuild him…”) Tony has since developed an infection, MRSA and (apparently) something else that starts with the letter B (? I wasn’t at that appointment with him, and frankly, he’s a little vague on a good day, much less with pain meds.) At any rate, he went to an infectious disease doctor yesterday for the first time, his antibiotics were increased and he was told that he would get a PICC line for IV antibiotics.

My question is: would you as a patient (or doctor, nurse, medical professional of some stripe) find it odd to learn that the PICC line is scheduled to be put in two weeks from now? Is that standard? Does it sound like an acceptable or unacceptable delay? I’d appreciate any opinions.

Well, I’m hospital based, but if we needed a PICC, we would put it in the same day.

Can you (or he, HIPPA donchknow) call the Doc and let them know there is a 2 week wait list, ask if that is OK, and if it is not, then maybe then the office can help get it moved up?

I am assuming he will continue his antibiotics by mouth while waiting for the PICC. It sounds to me like chronic, low grade, long term treatment for possible infection in the bone which is just hard to root out as it takes a long course of meds.

Sounds weird to me that the PICC line is being put off so long. The ID doc’s office should be queried about the delay.

[sub]and never trust anyone who gives HIPAA advice who doesn’t know how to spell HIPAA[/sub] :wink:

Okay, that basically answered the question I had: I really thought it weird that there was such a delay, and it doesn’t seem that it’s a wait list issue, just “Oh, this is when your next appointment is scheduled.”

I will call Tony’s primary care doctor and discuss. (The primary made the ID referral, and besides, I have a long-standing relationship with Dr. N, as a patient and as the wife of a patient, and he has the signed paperwork that he is allowed to discuss Tony’s treatment with me.) I just didn’t want to come across as some princess whose husband shouldn’t have to wait with the common folk, if it turned out that a delay of this type is pretty standard… :slight_smile:

Update: Spoke to the case manager, who is trying to speed things along. If we don’t hear anything by mid-afternoon Monday, she encourages calling Tony’s primary, who will light fires and raise hell. He’s a hell of a doctor, and a good guy.

Wow, not a doctor or in the medical field, but I always thought that if someone had an infection bad enough to need a PICC line, you do it ASAP, like now.

+1 on the “that seems like a really long wait”

A while back, my husband needed a portacath installed, and the scheduling was like “How’s tomorrow?” and those are a bit more involved than a PICC as they’re implanted in the chest.

As for the “something else that starts with B” - biofilm is a nasty thing that can happen with implanted hardware, otherwise, all I can think of otherwise is botulism.

Bacillus sp. are a possibility, but if it’s a bone infection an anaerobe is possible, so maybe some brand of Bacteroides.

(Not a doctor, just a med tech who misses her microbiology days)

I hope The Fellow is quick to recover. Sending good thoughts your way.

:eek: Wha? So you aren’t really “Dr. Butts”?

Just a drive-by update, in case anyone was interested (unlikely!)

Tony got his PICC line on 4/9, and is infusing 600mg of Teflaro twice a day. And the “something with a B” infection is enteroBacter. At his last doctor’s appointment, his WBC counts were falling, so hooray.

Thanks for the update!! I’m glad he’s doing better.