Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Latest Medical updates

As noted earlier, all the news has been good today. Yesterday's worries were centered around a couple of things. First, most micropreemies (that's a premature baby born before 25 weeks of gestation; Woody was a 23 week 2 day) are born with their ductus vein still open. The ductus is a blood vessel that bypasses blood around the lungs prior to being born, but usually closes up in babies that go closer to term. The problem with an open ductus is that it causes a heart murmur and can make the heart work too hard, depress blood pressure, and can even cause blood to back up into the lungs. Yesterday Woody got a dose of a drug designed to close that up, and the echocardiogram this morning confirmed that his ductus has indeed closed. This is great.

Second, Woody was taken off his insulin drip this morning, which he was given to keep his glucose level down. So far it is holding where we want it to. This is also great.

Finally, Woody has been on a drug to keep up his blood pressure since day two, and was taken off it this morning. So far he is doing great with that too. Which is fantastic.

Tomorrow's worry preview: The doctors want to try to wean him off his ventilator starting perhaps tonight but more likely tomorrow night. If he stays on ventilator too long, it increases the risk of chronic lung disease later. If he goes off, then there is increased danger of a type of apnea (cessation of breathing). Basically, babies his size are so undeveloped in their life support systems that sometimes they forget to breathe. He will be watched closely to make sure this doesn't happen.

Second worry is that the doctors are going to try to give him his first digestible food tomorrow or the next day, assuming that his bowels start working. This is obviously important to start, but can also introduce some new concerns.

Finally, I worry that any one of the earlier troubles that have shown such great progress will recur, setting us back. The doctors have been very forthright about letting us know that even in the best cases, there are setbacks and steps forward on a near daily basis. I know that not everything can go perfectly, but I am very hopeful so far.

1 Comments:

At 10:08 AM, Anonymous Steve/Sherri said...

Hello again - we're so pleased about yesterday's successes! Hope you are having fun with another grandma there - we'll join the fun this weekend. Looking forward to pulling for Woodrow Xavier in person!

(10:07AM CDT)

 

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