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Old 10-02-2016, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Central IL
20,248 posts, read 14,060,211 times
Reputation: 48962

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My 55 year old sister went to the hospital 10 days ago requiring transfusions due to VERY low hemoglobin of 5.8. They did an upper GI and colonoscopy to find any internal bleeding but could find nothing The first two units of blood went fine but her hemoglobin went down a bit overnight and they gave her a third. It was then that she started having trouble breathing - they think related to her congestive heart issues. They had to put her on a ventilator...now she has a fever and pneumonia and they will likely do a tracheotomy...as soon as tomorrow. They are also doing a CAT scan because her abdomen seems distended and firm and they have no idea what that might be.

Her condition only seems to get worse. She's heavily sedated so I hope that at least she is more comfortable with a trach even though she still won't be able to talk. I know in my mind she's not in a coma but she seems unconscious and has only barely opened her eyes a few times when I talk to her.

The doctor says the transfusions injured her lungs and all they can do is give her time. With that and the pneumonia is there any hope for her? She has MRSA already and with a central line, the trach tomorrow and the feeding port she'll have to have I just see things getting worse from an infection standpoint.

Can anyone give a viewpoint on her prognosis? She has a DNR in place and at any point I keep thinking they are going to start talking about the need for it...I'm just dreading it. Years ago I had to make the decision for my mother.
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Old 10-03-2016, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Central IL
20,248 posts, read 14,060,211 times
Reputation: 48962
I'm sorry if this is not the best place for this - caregiving covers very serious issues like this but it's not entirely accurate that I'm her caregiver...the mods can decide if that would be best.
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Old 10-03-2016, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Middle of the valley
45,283 posts, read 30,019,115 times
Reputation: 66579
I'm so sorry, I have no information to offer, but wish you the best.
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Old 10-04-2016, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Central IL
20,248 posts, read 14,060,211 times
Reputation: 48962
Thanks, Mikala.

Based on some of her actions in the last couple days I've decided to go ahead with the tracheostomy. If at some point she shows she doesn't want to keep going then that will be her decision but for now she is working with folks to do the things she needs to get better (like daily physical therapy). It's very limited but it shows me her CURRENT feelings and attitudes more than the paper she signed more than a decade ago. And at that point DNRs were very simplified. Now I understand you can be much more specific and nuanced with the exact circumstances where you would like to stop different measures - she will need to update that when she is able.
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