CINCINNATI -- 700 WLW radio personality Scott Sloan is on the mend at home after unexpected consequences from routine back surgery landed him in intensive care.
According to Sloan's Facebook profile, he had surgery Jan. 7 to fuse two vertebrae and relieve 16 years of bulging disc pain. The spinal fusion was successful with no drainage from the wounds.
By Jan. 9, however, inflammation of the colon caused by the bacteria C. diff. (Clostridium difficile) forced Sloan into the ICU at UC Health West Chester Hospital.
"In 24 hours, I went from everything being fine to my blood pressure going down into the 50s over 40s, fever spiking to 103 degrees -- started having tremors and seizures because of that," Sloan told WCPO.
Doctors at the hospital called C. diff. the "cholera of our time," as it causes diarrhea and serious intestinal conditions and is easily transmitted.
Healthy individuals typically have enough good bacteria in the intestinal tract to ward off infection, but if they are depleted (as they were in Sloan's case due to antibiotics he took in early January against a sinus infection), the condition can quickly deteriorate.
"It was horrific -- it's the worst version of the flu and sickness you've ever had," Sloan said. "You can't keep anything inside of you. They're pumping you full of fluids."
For Sloan, the scariest moment came when he looked in a mirror and didn't recognize himself.
"That scared me, fortunately, the right way into getting my mind right, and fortunately, I was able to leave ICU," he said.
Dr. Carl Fictenbaum, of the UC College of Medicine, said probiotics won't always prevent C. diff. Good hand washing, Fictenbaum said, is a big factor in preventing the illness from spreading.
700 WLW's radio personality Mike McConnell has been filling in for Sloan as he recovers.