My husband is a 72 years old American Caucasian. We have been spending 2 years of our retirement life in Taipei Taiwan. Seven months ago he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease lymphoma (Stage iiiB). His lymphoma was treated at Taiwan University Hospital by an hematologist Professor Tian. The regiment she used to treat my husband is ABVD therapy. After he completing his 6th chemo, CT scan showed good result. Most of his tumors were gone. He had now completed 10 of his 12 chemo. He had two more Chemo to go. or three weeks to go before he completed his ABVD Chemo therapy.
On 11-30-2010, a week before his 11th Chemo, he had some fever, and he was coughing. Advised by his doctor he checked in NTUH infectious disease ward for evaluation and treatment for possible pneumonia. He was treated for 4 days with an Antibiotic called Cravit. However, his low graded fever(37.4C – 38.8C) did not go away. During his first three day staying in the hospital, My husband called me every morning to bring him a McDonald Breakfast and coffee. We spent the time together in the room, watching TV, and chat or he would read his favor fiction books. He appeared to be tired, but he still had appetite, and still wanted to socialize with me and the nurses. We want to get ride of the fever problems so we would be ready for our 11th Chemo
On the 5th day (12/4/2010, Saturday), the infectious Doctor suspected my husband had Pneumocystis (carinii) jiroveci Pneumonia and changed the regiment to Two antibiotics Sevatrim (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim , BacTrim/Septrin equvilant in Taiwan), Tazocin and steroid. They did a skin test before hand for allergy.
Once they administered the drugs, his fever went away. We were very happy. But in the next day (12/05/2010, Sunday), the duty doctor came to our room and suggested to have intubation. My husband was nauseating, agitating, but since the fever was gone, he thought the medicine were working. Both he and I didn’t understand the need for intubation. My husband said he would rather wear a oxygen mask and wait for the symptoms to clear.
He spent one and half more days wearing the oxygen. On12/06/2010 Monday night My husband accidently removed his mask from his face for just a few second, the oxygen level drop all the way to 65, The nurse and I called for help. At that moment the doctors and other staffs total of 6 or 7 medical staffs rushed to our room rescued him with oxygen pump. They performed emergency intubation immediately, and my husband was sent to ICU. He has been in ICU and sedated since. They remove the regiments two days later, when they confirmed that he had no PJP afterall.
When he checked into the hospital, his record showed oxygen level was fine. My husband did not complaint anything about breathing, he just did not like the low grade fevers. Only 12 hours after the regiment, his oxygen level were in trouble or they would not recommend intubation. If not for the help of the oxygen mask, he would have collapsed in day 1.
This is the 13 days in his ICU. They did a CT scan with contrast, his lung showed very sever interstitial pneumonia. He is now treated with both antibiotic and steroids. He is breathing with machine, and he is heavily sedated.
The ICU doctors encourage me to bring in any opinions I can find and share it with them. They did not seen cases or possible drug-induced problems like this before.
If you have treated someone like this before, or if you have been treated with similar reaction before, please share your experience with me. I am devastating and desperate for any help. my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for your help. God bless you.