Wednesday, November 28, 2007
ICU Update 28 Nov
Andrea is stable. On the bad side she has not responded to the antibiotics yet. The doctor just walked out and they now don't expect to see results until after the weekend. Her fever is down and she seems more relaxed. They are almost certain it is pneumonia but not what kind or the cause. So we are doing the shotgun blast treatment. If it is from a virus it will just have to run its course and that will take time. If its bacterial then we hope the antibiotics will kick in and speed the recovery. She is on every antibiotic now man so if it is bacterial we should see some response.
Due to the condition of her lungs they have the ventilator is on a setting that forces air in and never releases to zero pressure. Her lungs are not very elastic due to the infection and disease so they are trying to maximize the effectiveness of the healthy tissue. Because of this the vent is very uncomfortable, and unnatural in how rapidly Andrea has to breath. This is because she has a lot of Co2 and acidic gas from the infection and she needs to exhale a lot to get rid of it. This also makes the vent more uncomfortable for her.
On top of that they want her to be as awake as possible to monitor her condition and that is hard with on her. The past two days have been the hardest ever and I hope she will improve so they can back off on the vent and in turn be able to back off the pain and sedation medication. It is such a fine line. And her condition is very serious, very fragile.
Her lungs are weak which leads towards a slower recovery. They said maybe 10-14 days on the ventilator now. Past 14 days they will think about a putting the ventilator in the tracheal tube.
They check her blood and lungs all the time looking for signs her lungs are stronger. When they can they will slowly back off the vent and keep checking and as Andrea is able they will decrease the vent until she can breath on her own. So far the have not been able to do that. The machine is providing a significant amount of her breathing.
She has a great nurse today, Mike. Both of us have been in this room all day. I guess he has no other patients to care for. That is nice but speaks to the seriousness of Andrea's condition.
Posted by Jim Ravella