Other Postoperative Complications

Fever of undetermined origin after open-heart procedures is extremely worrisome particularly in patients who had prosthetic devices implanted. These patients should not be discharged from hospital before exhaustive work-up.

Deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism are uncommon after cardiac operations but do occur from time to time. This complication must be included in the differential diagnosis of hypoxia, chest pain, leg edema and fever.

Confusion and disorientation are now uncommon with early extubation and resumption of physical activities while in hospital but still a problem from time to time. One should check the electrolytes, glucose, renal function, and oxygen saturation. All medications should also be reviewed. Stroke should be ruled out.

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