ICU Day 18 – Spontaneous Breathing Trial

ventilatorThis is the ventilator that has been supporting Rachana’s lungs since Oct 6th. My reaction on most medical procedures and equipment usually starts with ‘It’s wonderful that they can do that’, but after a few days of watching it, sometimes my reaction changes to ‘This thing can get better. Technology can definitely make this a little better for the patients’. But still I’m very appreciative of the doctors, their medicines, and their equipment that help people recover from serious illnesses.

This morning the doctors stopped the sedatives and an hour later did a test called Spontaneous Breathing Trial (SBT). This is a test to see if she is ready to get off the ventilator. Rachana was partially awake and kind of responding a little. They changed the setting on the ventilator where it was assisting very little and letting Rachana do all the breathing. Rachana was mostly calm and going in and out of being sleepy, but was breathing well to support herself. After about 30 minutes they stopped the test as her heart rate was increasing, which is indicative of her getting tired from the breathing. The doctors were happy with this test and want to repeat it again tomorrow. Their goal is for her to be able to do this test for 2 hours and that will give them the confidence that she can breath on her own and does not need a ventilator. If she keep up with getting better each day, the same way she had in the past 3-4 days,, I’m sure she will be able to get off the ventilator in 4-5 days or maybe less.