Silly me, thinking any day in ICU could be boring. Nope, every day is a new adventure. Late yesterday evening, Eric began complaining of pain in the area of his right chest tube. Several days ago, the nurse noticed increased inflammation and reddness around the skin where the chest tube is inserted. So they've been changing the dressing every other day and treating it with antibiotic ointment. But now with this pain deeper inside that general area, as well as an increased temperature, the doctor suspects he might have an infection inside the pleural space. Hopefully, we caught it early and it can be treated with the antibiotics they started last night. But what to do? If there is infection, the tube must come out. "Germs love plastic," says Dr. Kennedy. But will Eric develop a pneumothorax if we pull the chest tube? As I said in yesterday's post, the leak has been small, but still there. To test it a bit, they turned the suction off last night, putting it on "water seal," then got an x-ray four hours later. No sign of any pneumothorax. Anyway, in short, we pulled that chest tube out today. And we'll see what happens. Hopefully, nothing.
Also of interest, that fickle left chest tube never bubbled all night long, which would have been a concern prior to last night. But Eric remained completely comfortable with stable vital signs. I'm baffled. I guess I shouldn't be. Shouldn't we expect miracles?