Wednesday, August 12, 2009

How the ECMO went down...

It was a whirlwind of a 24 hour period, but basically, it went like this:

We came to the hospital this morning to find our baby boy trialing off of ECMO on the conventional ventilator for a half-hour. While this was TOTALLY stressful, it was a necessary step to finding out whether or not his system could handle oxygen and CO2 exchange on its own.

It didn't go so well on the conventional vent, as measured by the blood gases that were drawn during the trial, so they decided to try the high-frequency oscillating ventilator, the one he'd been on over the weekend. These stats looked much better, so they kept him off the circuit for a good two hours or so to test him.

And he passed!

With that, the decision was made to take Rafa off of ECMO! The procedure to remove the cannulas was only 30 minutes, but it felt like a lifetime. We're absolutely thrilled with this move forward...with a catch.

See, now Rafa's doing a tremendous amount more of the work, in terms of his lungs and heart moving oxygen and CO2 through his body, and that's a little scary to contemplate. He's been on life support for the first month of his life and needs to continue to be able to do so--there's no going back, now that we're off of ECMO.

What's your new mantra now, Team?

Good blood gases!

Wean down the vent!

In rapid succession until we can get back on the conventional ventilator again...

Thanks for the efforts today, Team. Keep up the good work!


  1. >>What's your new mantra now, Team?
    Good blood gases! Wean down the vent!<<

    YOU GOT IT!!!
    I'm doing the new chant now.
    Congratulations, all.
    Love forever

  2. No problem. The new mantra is in effect!
    We love you and we are so happy for you. Rafa is freakin' amazing and darn cute too. Love!!

  3. CONGRATULATIONS! What a way to celebrate his almost one month birthday! We are thinking of you and channeling the new mantra! xoxo,d

  4. I'm repeating the mantra, I'm praying for good results, I'm sending loving and healing thoughts, I'm visualizing Rafa enveloped in light... Rafa rocks!!!

  5. Whoo hooo!!!!! This is such great news.

  6. Congratulations to Rafa and all the wonderful team!!! You got it! We all have a new mantra! We believe in baby Rafa and you all. Much love to all!

  7. Thanks for keeping us updated, so excited to hear that he has cycled off, we are up the new mantra to keep him breathing strong on his own. HUGS!

  8. I will be chanting the new mantra all the way to LA (visiting my brother)!! What a great day! What an awesome little boy! xoxo

  9. We are so happy for you! What a milestone. Keep it up, little guy!