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!