My 86 year old mother, with modest dementia, broke her hip on 12/11/07. It was repaired two days later. She suffered aspiration pneumonia and a UTI fungal infection in the hospital. She was finally transferred to a rehabiliation center after being in the hospital for 4 weeks. In the rehab center, they told us she now has MRSA pneumonia. What are her chances of overcoming all of this? She is on a trach and at times seems very coherent. How much longer do we let her endure all of this? She never says she's in pain or uncomfortable. Is there a real chance of her surviving it and having a good quality of life? How do you do discontinue a trach when the patient has coherent moments? Please respond soon. I love her so much, but don't know how to deal with this situation.
Pneumonia due to methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection of the lungs can be life-threatening, especially in the elderly, but recovery is possible, especially if your mother has never smoked and heretofore, had healthy lungs. Assuming that she is receiving intravenous antibiotics, either at the rehab center or the hospital, whether she is to recover or not should soon be evident by clearing or worsening of pneumonia.
You should be in close contact with her doctors, on a daily basis, to discuss the likely scenarios and consider your responses to each. If her doctors believe that she may yet recover and her appearance to you supports that, then therapeutic efforts should continue. If she recovers from the MRSA, it is likely that she could experience a quality of life, not dissimilar to that she had prior to the hip fracture, especially if the repaired hip allows her to again to become even semi-ambulatory.
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