Breathing Challenges and a New Room

posted Nov 22, 2010, 8:31 PM by Grady Smith   [ updated Nov 22, 2010, 9:00 PM ]
November 22 (PM) - Today has been a harder day for Grady Jeremiah, and consequently for us.


Starting this morning the little guy had trouble with his breathing.  One thing they monitor on him 24/7 is the oxygen concentration in his red blood cells.  When it drops below 85%, alarms go off.  It is called a "desat" (short for desaturation). Today has been a day of lots of desat alarms.  Also, when he stops breathing, it can lead to a sudden drop in heart rate called a "brady" (short for bradycardia).  We've had more of those alarms today than in recent days. 

The doctors and nurses say these things are normal with a premature baby.   There can be several contributing factors.  Often it can be the result of infection.  However, his blood work today looks good.  Not all of the tests are back, but what we see shows no sign of infection.  Please pray that Grady Jeremiah will not have any infection and remain healthy.

Since they don't think his challenges today are the result of infection, here are the more likely causes... 

(1) After two full days without the canula giving him a little extra air flow to make it easier to breathe, the little guy may have gotten worn out. Apparently it is good for him to wear himself out, then get a little help, and then repeat that cycle.   It is just a bit scary for us.   (2) His sodium is a bit low which negatively impacts breathing.  The doctors have already started supplementing his milk with sodium.  He is one of the few people today who needs more calories and more sodium in his diet :-)  (3) The little guy may have just had too much stimulation recently and has become worn out.  After his bath last night and a move downstairs today (see below), he has been through a lot and may be exhausted.  Please pray that his strength will increase, and that his breathing lapses will end.


Despite these challenges, the doctors and nurses still seem pleased with his progress, enough so to move him out of the Regional Neonatal ICU (RNICU) to the Continuing Care Nursery (CCN).  This is the floor for more stable babies where they "feed and grow."  We were a bit surprised to be moved down here so quickly.  However, the CCN floor and our new room has several advantages.  First, we have our own private bathroom and shower, making it even easier to stay with Grady Jeremiah all day and all night.  Second, we have a window!!!  I can't begin to tell you what a blessing it is for us to have a view of downtown and to be able to see light and dark outside.  It greatly helps our state of mind.

Sometimes babies that are sent downstairs have relapses and have to be moved back up to the RNICU.  Please pray that Grady Jeremiah will be healthy and grow, so that his next move from this room is to Auburn sometime after the New Year.

Thanks again for praying.  Just tonight he was having frequent breathing lapses (dsats and bradys).  I sent out a twitter and facebook update.  Within about 5 minutes those began to decrease in number.  Your prayers are effective.  Thank you!