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VRE Questions
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VRE Questions

I was diognosed with Vre in spet of 2005 after many surgeries.  I was told that it lays dormant in my body forever now and can come back with just a common cold.  ZThe hospital I was in when I got it did not educate me on this topic at all, infact they did not ant to tell me about it.  My question is my hubby will be having surgery Nov 14th at this hospital too, and I was wondering if his Dr should be notified that I carry VRE, so that I will not infect him?
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This is a great question.   Let give some background about VRE for those readers who may not be aware about what we are discussing.

VRE stands for Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus.  Enterococcus is a type of bacteria or germ.   Vancomycin is a powerful antibiotic and resistance means that this antibiotics is not capable of treating this type of infection.   There has been a great deal written in the lay press and media about resistant infections.  Another resistant infection that is more common is MRSA or methacillin resistant Staph aureus.

>>>”I was told that it lays dormant in my body forever now and can come back with just a common cold.”

Yes, sort of . . . The VRE organism likely is still alive on you or in you but lives in check by your body’s defenses and other normal bacteria.  Here is a pleasant though but we have millions of bacteria that live on us and in us.  Simply the presence of bacteria does not mea that we have an infection, but when that bacteria begins to invade tissue we have what is called an infection.   Therefore, is we checked various locations of your body we can potentially find the VRE organism.   There is a reasonable possibility that if we obtain cultures from your husband we can maybe find the VRE growing on him.  When someone carries the germ but is not infected by it this is known as being a “carrier” or “carriage.”  

>>>” My question is my hubby will be having surgery Nov 14th at this hospital too, and I was wondering if his Dr should be notified that I carry VRE, so that I will not infect him?”

Yes—absolutely tell your surgeon.   All preoperative information about someone’s medical condition is important in trying to avoid postoperative complications.  If your husband is diabetic, on steroids, or a transplant patient he would be at increased risk.  Certain types of surgery would be greater risk as well: heart surgery, brain surgery, spine surgery, or joint replacement or orthopedic surgery.

I would also suggest that you call the infection control office of your hospital.  They should appreciate the phone call and might take additional precautions to prevent an infection in your husband.  

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