My friend was diagnosed with scleraderma at age 13 and is now 36. She has had numerous operations over the years and on 4/21/06 underwent surgery that was to remove the Achilles tendon due to an infection that had gone bad (not healed correctly). Since that time she is now on life support (as of yesterday) due to respiratory arrest. She has fluid in her lungs and also a pooling of blood in her lower back. They are currently trying to figure out what type of infection she has to get her on the correct antibiotics, to do that they are going to remove some of the fluid from her lungs and test it. After the surgery she lost all appetite which has been common in her previous surgeries from the pain medicines(currently demerol). She is now considered malnourished because of that. She is probably right about 100 lbs, 5’6″. She has been on low dose prednisone for the past 20 years. My question is what can be the cause of her respiratory malfunctions. I know that you cannot diagnos but possibly give us another direction to look.
I am sorry for your friend, but I have little to offer. The complexity of the situation you describe goes way beyond any type of advice I can give you in this forum. Your friend is susceptible to all types of infections– common, uncommon and the resistant bacteria that live in the hospital. Because of her scleroderma, she may also have underlying lung disease and/or heart disease.