05 April 2012

Auf Wiedersehen, Berlin

It's hard to believe any three year-old could go through as much as our Eddie has, but here we are. As we speak, he's back in the OR and our surgeons plan to remove his Berlin heart. His bleeding continued for most of the morning and then suddenly slowed . . . his ECHO showed new pericardial effusion which obviously wasn't draining. So either his chest tube was blocked or he was developing pockets of fluid unreachable by the existing drain.

The plan is to open his chest and see if by chance there is any evidence of a single source of bleeding (highly unlikely since he was just in the OR on Tuesday and there was no evidence then). Assuming there will be no obvious bleeding source, they'll drain all the fluid they can and then close his chest. At that point, the Berlin pump will be disconnected and then replaced with a modified ECMO circuit. Since Eddie's right ventricle and lungs are working well, there will be no need for the oxygenation functionality of ECMO (the lung) so it will just be a closed circuit from the left ventricle to the centrifugal pump to the aorta.

A couple of the key benefits of this approach will be to eliminate the Berlin (to which Eddie seems to have some kind of inflammatory response) and stop the Heparin infusions Eddie currently needs to keep his pump clot free. Without the Heparin, his clotting function should improve and slow the bleeding. However, this also means he will be at risk of developing new clots in his heart, but this is a risk we are more comfortable taking . . . especially because we think the clots only formed in the first place because of his constricted heart during his tamponade on Sunday . . . an episode we hope to avoid in the future.

One piece of (apparent) good news is that the clots in the left ventricle seem to have vanished since yesterday. Nothing catastrophic has happened so we assume the clot dissolved . . . or ended up somewhere harmless.

Will share more details as we have them . . .

1 comment:

  1. I can't help but cry thinking of that little boy in surgery again. I don't know how you are all holding up so well under these continuing difficulties, but you are amazing. Thanks for the update. We've put his name on the prayer roll again and will be thinking of you all and praying for Eddie this evening. Love from all of us!