Thursday, March 5, 2009
Eric has had quite a time with chest tubes and their placement since admission. Chest tubes are essentially hoses that drain displaced air and fluid from the space around the lung. Without these tubes, if there is air and fluid around the lungs, the lungs can't fully expand. Eric has had two chest tubes on the right and one on the left for quite some time. But despite the two on the right, Eric's chest x-ray showed too much air outside the right lung. This caused Eric to become increasingly short of breath and increased his heart rate throughout the afternoon and into the evening. Since they obviously weren't doing their job, Dr. Thompson decided to take out the two chest tubes on the right, and replace them with a new one. But a post-procedure chest x-ray to confirm placement and function showed no change. It wasn't in the right spot. So, that one came out and in went another one. This makes six total chest tubes since Eric's admission. But already, his heart rate has come down and he's less short of breath.