Sunday, February 13, 2011

Is No News Good News?

When Daphne's oxygen levels dropped on Thursday, Dr. Toms put her back on Lasix to see if that would help. At first, it seemed to make a difference, because her oxygen levels picked up for a while. But eventually, her levels dropped again, and it became clear that the lift was just part of a random cycle of rising and falling stats.

At this point, the doctors are vigilant but not panicked. Because Daphne still looks good and doesn’t seem to be in distress, the neonatologist and cardiologist on duty have decided to hold off putting her back on oxygen. Tomorrow Daphne’s regular team will evaluate her stats from the weekend and decide if she needs a heart catheterization. Since she hasn’t shown any progress, I’m assuming that will be the next step.

So why the low oxygen levels? There are several theories, but they all revolve around reduced blood flow to the lungs: (1) There could be a clot in the BT shunt. (2) The ductus arteriosus could have taken part of the pulmonary artery with it when it disappeared, causing narrowing and reduced blood flow. (3) Or, the leading theory, Daphne’s extremely narrow subclavian artery may not be pushing enough blood through the BT shut. Let’s hope we learn more in the coming days.

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