This is a blog for my daughter Scarlett. She was born with a complex congenital heart defect known as Tetralogy of Fallot with Pulmonary Atresia. She is my little hero.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Still Intubated

This morning they were talking about her ABP (arterial blood pressure) being a little lower than her NBP (non-invasive blood pressure). Scarlett has an IV line in her neck/collarbone going directly into an arterial vein which constantly measures the blood pressure directly from the artery in her heart (ABP).

This pic has her ABP at 56/43 (red color).  That measurement has been on the low side all day today and all night last night. But, the blood pressure cuff on her arm (the NBP) which is taken intermittently reads slightly higher in this pic it reads 74/46 (purple color). Evidently there's a disconnect somewhere. They wanted to get a new art line in her to see if it would read the same as the current one which is reading lower than the NBP.

But alas, after many attempts they decided to just keep the art line they already had. Her blood gases (measurement of pH in the blood, carbon dioxide & oxygen pressures, and bicarbonate levels) are great, and she is showing no other signs of distress from having low blood pressure.

Daddy brought big sister Violet to visit baby sister Scarlett today.

Violet says "Scarlett has a boo boo on her heart. We have to take care of her. She's sick".  They didn't stay very long, but we wanted Violet to be able to see her sister, and for Scarlett to hear her big sister.

Scarlett was doing very good earlier this afternoon and there was even talk of extubating her today (taking out the breathing tube and getting her off the ventilator), because she was taking breaths on her own and the ventilator was only being used as a backup. They were slowly decreasing the amount of work the machine was doing (lowering the setting on the ventilator) throughout the morning/early afternoon.  But then when they attempted to turn off the machine 100%, Scarlett got agitated, her nostrils started flaring, and her oxygen levels dropped low. So, Dr. Willis said that we'll keep her on the ventilator one more day and try extubating her tomorrow. It was just too much work for her and we don't want her working too hard.

Nurse Becky and respiratory therapist Ginger have been taking good care of Scarlett all day today. Trying to get her extubated, and calming her down when she wakes up, etc. And yes, she's woken up a couple of times today because they decreased her sedative when they were trying to extubate her. But when she wakes up she starts kicking her legs and tries to move her arms, but they're in restraints. Did I mention that being on the breathing tube also means she can't cry? Well, yeah, she cries, but she doesn't make sound. : (

Here is a picture with her day nurse Becky.


  1. Glad all is going well. I posted on Andie's blog about baby Scarlett and asking for more prayers. What room are you guys in this time? Just curious. I will continue to have you in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. Your litle trooper is doing great and so are you. Scarlett's candle is burning bright and prayers abound for a smooth transition off the tubes and monitors.