Post-operative complications have been studied in depth after a liver transplant. The outcome of a statistical survey has revealed that after surgery roughly 62 percent of patients become infected.
The most common types of infections were viral, fungal and bacterial. 56 percent alone out of the 62 percent infected had the infection due to bacterial infection. This accounted for the largest type of infection the patient is prone to.
A further analysis revealed that the most common of bacterial pathogens were Enterococcus faecium and gram-positive cocci, particularly Staphylococcus aureus, while the most frequent bacterial infection was bacteremia and wound infection despite the observation of the strictest standards of sterility. The risk factors related to acute bacterial infection were twofold. Acute bacterial infection resulted in an inordinately prolonged admission, and sometimes even in rejection.
After surgery, the performance of the patient’s immune system is compromised because of the immunosuppressive medications that form an integral part of post-operative treatment. These medications interfere with the natural immunity leaving a patient susceptible and vulnerable to infections. As mentioned above, the most likely infection the patient is likely to contract is bacterial. This infection normally occurs at the surgical site. The usual symptoms are redness, swelling, tenderness or perhaps drainage at the incision. The symptoms are invariably accompanied by fever. The medical transplant team should immediately be informed. The procedure than adopted is to take a culture of the bacterial infection for investigation at the laboratory. Once the nature of the infection is established, the patient is put on a remedial course of antibiotics.
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