ICU Day 12 – A full week on the ventilator

For the last two days Rachana has been fully sedated. She hardly wakes up and surely not agitated when she moves her head or hands. There is some sense of relief in this; at least there are no visible signs of trauma, but who knows what’s going on in her mind. I just hope she is peaceful and not struggling inside. It’s now been a full week on the ventilator. The doctors said  that usually they start thinking of other options around the 2 week mark. One other option is Tracheostomy, where they surgically put a pipe in the trachea which is accessible from the front of the throat. But they don’t want to think about that as it’s a week away and she can improve in a week’s time, but also because any surgery is very risky for her because of a possible infection, because her platelets are still very low, and they don’t want any uncontrolled bleeding.

The chest x-ray from his morning didn’t show any progress compared to yesterday’s. The doctors said the good thing is that the situation is not getting worse, and that means there is hope that she will in fact get better in a few days. The number to watch, as signs of progress, are the ventilator’s O2% and PeeP. They are currently at 65% and 12 and we want to see them go down.

Fever is another constant issue. Last night it went up to 103.5. The doctor’s are doing tests of all fluids and unable to detect any other bacteria. They are also confident that the antibiotics are working on the lung infection so that cannot be causing the fever. There is one antibiotic they want to change up as it can cause a fever. As a precaution they also removed the drain tube from her right chest as it seems to have served its purpose, is not draining any more fluid, and a foreign object like that can be a magnet for infections. They also changed the tubing in the central line that is going in from the side of her neck and is used to give all medications as the main IV line, again to eliminate sources of possible infection. Hopefully this will take care of the fevers.

So, things to watch the next few days are stopping the fever and getting the ventilator numbers down. These will be signs of progress.