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ICU Day 3

Posted May 01 2013 10:05pm
Tricia is now in her third day in the ICU.  Here is a quick list of what we know.

She has remained on the BiPAP.  The hope was a little time on the BiPAP would allow her to be able to regain some strength and go back to the nasal cannula, but the few times they have tried, her CO2 levels and blood pressure have jumped back up.  With the BiPAP all of her vitals are at a safer level.

All tests have come back negative so far.  It's good that she may not have an infection, but not good that we don't yet know what has caused this sudden decline.  We are still waiting on a few more tests to come back.  The assumption is her rejection has caught up with her and killing her lungs.

She remains on the transplant list, and I've been told she is basically at the top.  This is common at Duke, when a tx patient becomes very sick and admitted to the hospital, to bump them to the top of the list to try and receive new lungs ASAP.  We could receive a call at any time.

And she needs new lungs right now.  Although she is complaining that her breathing is becoming more difficult, she appears to be stable.  But if she declines at all, she will most likely be intubated and placed on a ventilator.  The chances of coming off the ventilator are slim, and although I haven't talked with the team yet, by guess is they would not be willing to transplant her while she was on the vent.  They have an intubation procedure scheduled for 10am tomorrow if it's needed.

Overall, Tricia is unrecognizable compared to a week ago.  It's crazy now to think she was walking laps and pumping weights on Friday.  She has been sleeping almost constantly since arriving and has only gotten out of bed a few times for a minute or two at a time.  Although she is aware of where she is and what's going on, you wouldn't know it by talking with her.  She has the BiPAP mask on, so she can't say much, and her mouth is so dry and tongue swollen that it's difficult to understand her anyway.  As long as she is sleeping, she is relaxed, but any time that she is awake, she is extremely uncomfortable and anxious.

All of that to say, the chances that Tricia will make it out of the hospital without new lungs are incredibly small.  Short of another miracle, either she gets new lungs now, or her struggle will be over soon.  We are praying for an immediate call for new lungs and praying that she will stay off the vent for as long as possible so we can continue to pray and wait.

Thank you.

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