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10/8/2017 Latest post:
Welcome to the CaringBridge website for David Riccardi. I am using it to keep family and friends updated in one place.
Dave is very sick with pneumonia and some complications due to underlying kidney disease. The heart of it is that he is terribly ill and he really needs all the prayers and positive vibes that you can muster. Dave has a big family and lots and lots of friends, and I know you are all concerned for him. We appreciate all of the love and support and prayers that you have been sending his way. Keeping everyone updated has been difficult, since there are so many people who love him and are concerned for him. So, I thought a site like this would be the best way to may sure you could get accurate updates on his condition.
Dave went into the Emergency Room at Bayonne Medical Center on Friday September 29, 2017 . He was quickly diagnosed with pneumonia, and was also experiencing some issues due to underlying kidney disease with which he was diagnosed in May 2017 when he was last hospitalized. He was admitted to ICU that night. His legs were very swollen, and he was very weak and unable to walk.
His tests came back positive for Legionella pneumonia - Legionnaire's disease. In typical Dave style, when the doctor came to tell him, Dave regaled the doctor with the story of how Legionnaire's disease got its name. Very sick, and barley able to speak two words without taking a breath, he still had to share his - usually- useless-but- in- this- case- very- appropriate - knowledge with the doctor!
Although he was on 100% oxygen, his lungs were not getting all of the oxygen they need in order to get better. His breathing was still very shallow. His kidneys were working overtime to get the fluid out of his body. On Monday (10/2) they started Dave on temporary dialysis. He had a 2-hour session, and it removed quite a bit of fluid from his body.
On Tuesday morning (10/3), they gave him another session - this time 3 hours, and removed 3 liters of fluid. While dialysis was ongoing, the doctor shared his concerns that Dave was still not oxygenating well. His entire left lung was infiltrated with the infection. So he was intubated - meaning that they put a tube down his throat to help him breath better and oxygenate his lungs. He was sedated so that his body would relax and not fight the machine.
By Wednesday morning (10/4), he was showing some response, but not enough. His lungs were just not getting enough oxygen and his blood pressure was very low, so they were unable to give him another session of dialysis. The doctors worked on Dave's case all day, trying to get his BP and oxygen levels to a level of stability to travel to another medical facility more suited for treating his condition. The doctors appealed to Columbia and Newark Beth Israel, both of which have a machine called an ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) which is essentially a by-pass machine for your lungs, along with better respirators, other medications and protocols that could be of help to Dave. Beth Israel agreed to take Dave, and a team of EMTs and a nurse from McCabe Ambulance packed him up and took him to Newark. He made the trip without incident, and the team at Newark Beth assessed him and started him on a new protocol - new respirator, new meds, and a new medical team = new hope. Although not out of the woods by any stretch of the imagination, things were looking up.