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Breath-holding, hypoxia…

Posted Feb 28 2011 3:42am

I am really starting to dread our weekly trach change for Hannah.   We never seemed to have a real problem until the last few months where, for one reason or another, she panics when we take out the old trach and try to put in the new one.

It happened again tonight.   I was holding her hand and singing to her while Daddy was getting ready to make the switch.   He took out the old trach, and she just started getting fussy and did not like me holding her down.  Daddy wasn’t able to get the new trach in because she panicked, tightened up her throat, and started having a breath holding spell because she started getting upset.   We immediately had to put in the smaller size trach, which thankfully is small enough to get into the hole even when she clenches, but it doesn’t go in easy.

Hannah started having difficulty breathing as Daddy was trying to get the smaller trach in and started turning blue.   I told Abby to get me the oxygen, and when she turned it on, it didn’t go on.   Ethan came over to help because he has done it before (Abby hadn’t).   He still couldn’t get it working.   Turns out that it became unplugged!

Finally, we got the oxygen going while Daddy was able to get the smaller-sized trach back in.   We let her get a continuous oxygen push for about 4 or 5 minutes until her color came back and her lips became pink again.   She also started calming down even though it took a while for her to catch her breath and start breathing regularly.

About 10 minutes later, we turned on the iPad and put on the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme song, and while she watched the iPad, Daddy was able to change out the small trach with the regular size one without any problems.  She didn’t even notice.

When it was all over, Daddy and I both breathed a huge sigh of relief.   I hate this trach, hate it.  But on the other hand, if we didn’t have the trach during this breath-holding spell, we couldn’t pour oxygen into her lungs as easily as we did once we got the small trach in and she was still involuntarily breath holding.

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