Monday, October 27, 2008

"Don't Panic!" (Nerd alert)

If you understand the reference in my title then you are just the type of nerd to which our family can relate. If not, then you might end up in a Vogon hold appreciating poetry when aliens finally decide to invade our plant. I digress....

So something funny happened today. Kiera had a blood gas drawn on Thursday in the hospital before discharge. I had called her pulmo Friday to make sure he had seen it and see if he wanted to do any vent setting changes, so he called today having looked at them. I don't remember all her numbers, but her Ph was 7.46 I think and her CO2 levels were 46! This is a wonderfully low and almost normal level for Kiera. Her levels used to be 50-60's when she was WELL which are horrible for someone else but were great for her. When we had her in a coma a few times last year, it always followed CO2 levels in upwards of 100. One time they were 180!!! So 46 is fantastic!

Now for the funny part (for those of you patiently waiting for the connection to the title): at 46 the gas reading is labeled as a "panic level." If this were a normal individual's lungs, I guess they might be prone to PANIC at 46, and yet, here we are rejoicing. :) Ahh, what a skewed world view we have.

This is a great sign of her overall pulmonary tree improving. We have been noticing much lower pressures in her lungs in the last few months where she used to have pressures in the 50's, and now her pressures are in the 20's. This means her lung tissue is growing and becoming more elastic and less difficult to ventilate. This is a good premonition for weaning in the future as long as we get through the winter infection free. So she is down to a rate of 16 and on 2 1/2 liters O2 (about 30%).

So, "Don't Panic," all is well.



Sarah said...

I actually have a blog post where a NICU nurse said "I dont' want you to worry..." and the CO2 was 52! I called my husband and we cried for joy. She thought we were nuts.... ah the perspective of a BPD mom.

She sounds like she's kicking butt and taking names.. 2-1/2 liters at 30%!! You GO, Kiera!!

Sarah M. said...

LOL! I totally get it. And who-hoo Kiera!!

Mom2Juliana said...

That is awesome CO2. We were just rejoicing Juliana's CO2 of 55 (the lowests I have seen in months). Even the Dr.'s were ready to do a happy dance for here. That is amazing Kierra! Keep up the good work.