10 December 2017

The Dengue Misadventure - Telemetry

telemetry  [tuh-lem-i-tree], noun
a portable device that continuously monitors patient ECG, respiratory rate and/or oxygen saturations while automatically transmitting information to a central monitor.

We were quite relieved that Irene's platelet count started to go up. Painfully slow as it is, it was still a positive sign. On our 3rd night, platelet count was up to 37. Things were looking good. Or so it seemed.

The next routine blood extraction yielded a curious result. Somehow, platelet count started to go down again. Latest was 32. To make things worse, Irene started to cough, quickly progressing to difficulty breathing. This was further confirmed with a pulse oximeter, revealing a decrease in her blood's oxygen. Just when we thought that we are on our way to recovery.

The button you press to call a nurse sounds a doorbell and flashes which room needed assistance. We're Room 704.
Things were not looking good. Suddenly there's a machine on her bed, measuring her oxygen level. She was then given oxygen through a nasal cannula. The last time I saw that plastic tube was on a TV drama series on a patient fighting for her life. It was painful for me to see. Next thing we knew we were transferred to the Telemetry Unit of the hospital. Irene would be needing full attention for her worsening condition.

Upon arriving at the new room, they attached multiple sensors on her body transmitting her heart rate and other vitals. It was unreal. From a simple let the Dengue run its course to next stop: ICU. It got so bad that from a nasal cannula and oxygen at level 2 to a mask and oxygen at level 6. This was no longer just Dengue.
How we wish those were babies.
More tests were ordered. Soon the equipment started rushing in, a portable x-ray, 2D echo, as well as an ultrasound unit. A Pulmonologist gave us the news, there was fluid in Irene's lungs, 270mL on the right, 370mL on the left. Apparently, the IV fluids given to flush out the virus was too much, too fast that it accumulated in her lungs. What do we do now?

Next: The Dengue Misadventure - HMO

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