ICU Day 6

Sorry for the late posting. I went out for a hearty dinner with a former colleague who is also a very close friend of ours. It was good to take a break from the hospital, and I know Andre didn’t mind.

Andre had a relatively busy day today. He had a bronchoscopy early this morning. The did this so they can find out if the spots they saw on his chest X-rays are from another infection. I got to watch how it’s done. It involves running a fiber optic cable down the mouth all the way to the lungs. Once in the area of interest in the lungs, the doctor can either get a biopsy or squirt some saline solution which they recollect (minimum of 30 ml) for examination. It’s the latter procedure–called bronchoalveolar lavage–that they performed on Andre. They’ll do molecular diagnostics (e.g., PCR) and culture of the washes to identify the infectious agent. Once they know, the infectious disease docs can make a rational decision on the antibiotic cocktail that the patient should be on. I’ll let you know when the results are in.

Another thing they did with Andre is to change the device that holds the breathing and feeding tubes. Andre was quite fiesty this morning when they were doing his oral care. He was biting hard on the tubes, and was making the ventilator alarm to go off. The new device has a built-in bite guard.

They lowered the dose of Versed and Fentanyl so that Andre can be easily awaken when they do the breathing trials. To combat his agitation, they’ve added Clonazopam to the mix. They did not do a breathing trial today because he was too sedated after the bronchoscopy. He managed to wake up and, according to the nurse on duty, was responding to questions. I missed this bit because I was at home showering and doing the laundry. They said they’ll wake up Andre from sedation early tomorrow so they can do the breathing test. I promised him that I’ll be there. I hope he’ll do well.