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Dec 4, 2017 Latest post:
Feb 21, 2018
Diane had been having worsening GI problems since August. She got much worse during Thanksgiving week and on Friday saw our family physician who recommended hospitalization. Diane was admitted to Elmhurst Hospital through the emergency room and the decision was made to do a colonoscopy on Saturday. After she got back to the recovery room following the procedure she started vomiting and aspirated. Her O2 immediately started to fall and she was admitted to the ICU to be closely monitored. She does well initially on a BiPap mask and is able to keep her O2 level up. By Tuesday she is off of the BiPap on on a nasal cannula which is high flow and she is up in a chair. She starts deteriorating Wendsday morning and the decision is made to intubate her and do a bronchoscopy to hopefully remove a mucus plug that is interfering with her breathing. They do this and there is no plug and her problem is just the horrible chemical pneumonia due to the aspiration. At this point her attending has her at max support on the ventilator and advises tranfer to a teaching center with ECMO capability. ECMO is a lung bypass machine that takes blood out of your body and returns it. The University of Chicago agrees to take her and flys a team with an ECMO machine to Elmhurst by helicopter. It took them some time to assemble and get there and in the meantime Diane was close to death. When they arrive her O2 is in the 70% range - very low. They hook her up and her O2is 100%. She is flown back to the University of Chicago and admitted to the ICU.