Friday, February 6, 2009

Condition Update

Here is what we know of Jeff's condition:  Jeff remains in a coma in ICU on a ventilator to aid his breathing, feeding tubes to nourish him, and other tubes to help various other bodily functions. His facial swelling has lessened. He has had several major strokes since his accident.   

Monday's cat scan showed that a series of strokes had occurred since the accident. Jeff's brain continues to be damaged by these strokes.  They occurred in areas of the brain that control vision, speech and motor coordination.   

On Wednesday, the ventilator was removed for a short period of time and Jeff was able to breathe on his own.  However, his breathing was very labored.  He has a collapsed lung and his brain is not directing his body to function normally.  The ventilator was put back into him.  Another Cat scan showed that an additional stroke had occurred.  I reviewed the scan with Dr Chan, Jeff's neuro surgeon, who pointed out this very damaging stroke.  Here, from, is the definition of the area of Jeff's brain where this latest stroke occurred  :  Deep inside the brain is the thalamus, which is the relay station for incoming impulses from the rest of the body, conveying sensations of pain, touch, and temperature to other parts of the brain. 

Jeff's brain is not regulating his body temperature, so he heats up and is cooled by ice packs and cooling blankets.  The nurses and doctors in the Los Robles ICU had been outstanding in their care and concern shown to Jeff.  

On Thursday, he was visited by Dr Dutta, a respiratory specialist.  Jeff has developed pneumonia.  The Dr stated that this is normal in trauma cases where there is a collapsed lung.  Jeff went on fresh antibiotics.  A few hours after the antibiotics were administered, Jeff's temperature, which had been as high as 106 since the accident, was at 98.7 degrees.  In the afternoon, Dr Amusi, Jeff's original trauma ER physician, was in and he told us something like this "What we can do is wait, hope and pray for your friend.  Miracles do occur"

On Friday morning, Barbara told me that there were no major changes in Jeff's condition.  

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