Closing the hatch
This morning at 4 AM we started weaning Iain off of the echo machine. The ecmo machine substitutes for Iain’s heart and lungs, oxygenation and pumping the blood through his body. In line with the ecmo machine, Iain's heart and lungs have not been contributing anything over the past few days.
His flow rate through the system was originally 5 liters/min. Shortly after 4 AM they reduced it to 2.5 l/min and held there to assess his heart and lungs. Of course Seema and I were there at 4 AM sharp to make sure everything was in order!
The initial reduction was pretty much without incident save for a slight irregular heartbeat that increased his blood pressure briefly.
At around 8:30 AM, all the physicians and nurses gathered for the turn the ecmo down. First they reduced it to 25%, then 30 seconds later to 0%. They then clamped off the lines and monitored his heart and lungs. After 10 minutes of monitoring, his surgeon turned to me and said to “now he is a normal transplant patient.” Music to my ears!!!
His chest has since been closed. He is still sedated and paralytic as he is on the respirator and we have yet to greet him.
Now to figure out what to say to him when he wakes up. We are going to have words after what he put us through!!!