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6 days into C6 injury

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  • 6 days into C6 injury

    hello,

    My name is Michelle and I am here on behalf of my brother who is in the hospital with a C6 injury/break. This happen at 1 am on 2-29-09. My brother is almost 31 yrs old. He wrecked his truck and had to be flown to the hospital in Richmond Va. He is at MCV.

    He had a collapsed lung, neck break, and a de-gloving of the skin on his hand with a broken wrist. He had arm movements but no finger movements. He has been heavely sadetaed since he got there. He has been on a ventalator since getting to the hospital.

    They gave him steroids asap and he had a ct and mri done. His vertebra was said to be 80% out of alignment. They had him in a halo and traction for two days. He was in a special bed that moved side to side. He has compression boots or sleves on his legs.

    I was very upset that they didnt operate sooner than they did but he was in surgery this Tuesday. They said it didnt really matter if they did the surgery sooner than later as it wouldnt make any difference. Surgery was long but no compliacations. He is still sadated and on the ventalator. They are looking to have him wake up more in the next few days and maybe remove the ventalator once he wakes up more.

    Any help or suggestions or comments are welcome.

  • #2
    Michelle, sorry to hear. This is the best site for info pertaining to SCI. All i can say it that it's a long process recovering. No injury is the same; I've witnessed some amazing recoveries.
    Last edited by Rustyjames; 03-06-2009, 11:20 AM.

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    • #3
      I'm so sorry to hear about your brother. But I will second that this is the best site to get help. I'm pretty new to all this (my Dad's accident was 11/17/08) but this site and the people who post here have been invaluable to me. The best thing you can do for your brother now is to be his #1 advocate. Ask lots of questions and do your research. And make sure they turn your brother every 2-3 hours to prevent pressure wounds. My dad got one of those and it has seriously set back his rehab. Good luck!

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      • #4
        Michelle,
        What an awful thing to have to deal with all of a sudden.
        It's really tough, more so at the early stages.

        For starters, be sure and read the guide listed in this thread:
        /forum/showthread.php?t=100881
        As well as this article:
        http:///index.php?page=viewarticle&a...3@AcuteSCI.htm

        Your brother is fortunate that you're taking a proactive interest and will need all of the help he can get from his family and friends.

        As you learn more you'll learn about the myriad number of complications that may arise.
        While you should be aware of them don't let the possibilities get you down. Rather just deal or help your brother deal with them as they arise.

        Best of luck and stay strong.

        jeff
        Doh!

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        • #5
          Good of you to be here for your brother, Michelle. It's a tough road, one of the toughest there is, so please stick with him. Good links already posted. If he is a military veteran, the Veterans Administration should be contacted as soon as possible. Keep in touch here.
          get busy living or get busy dying

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          • #6
            Michelle, I'm sorry you had to find us, but glad you did. Where does your brother live and what hospital is he in?

            It's important to get him to a facility that's CARF accredited and knows how to deal with spinal cord injuries. Getting proper rehab and learning what needs to be done from the start is very important for his continued health and eventual independence.

            Everything is overwhelming at this point, but you're at a great place for questions and those that have been in your situation. Please keep us posted and ask anything you want to know.
            C2/3 quad since February 20, 1985.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by michelle23464 View Post
              hello,

              My name is Michelle and I am here on behalf of my brother who is in the hospital with a C6 injury/break. This happen at 1 am on 2-29-09. My brother is almost 31 yrs old. He wrecked his truck and had to be flown to the hospital in Richmond Va. He is at MCV.

              He had a collapsed lung, neck break, and a de-gloving of the skin on his hand with a broken wrist. He had arm movements but no finger movements. He has been heavely sadetaed since he got there. He has been on a ventalator since getting to the hospital.

              They gave him steroids asap and he had a ct and mri done. His vertebra was said to be 80% out of alignment. They had him in a halo and traction for two days. He was in a special bed that moved side to side. He has compression boots or sleves on his legs.

              I was very upset that they didnt operate sooner than they did but he was in surgery this Tuesday. They said it didnt really matter if they did the surgery sooner than later as it wouldnt make any difference. Surgery was long but no compliacations. He is still sadated and on the ventalator. They are looking to have him wake up more in the next few days and maybe remove the ventalator once he wakes up more.

              Any help or suggestions or comments are welcome.
              Michelle,

              MCV is a very good place for taking care of acute spinal cord injury. They are really good. Your brother is on a ventilator because he has a punctured lung. They will very likely wean him off the ventilator. Given his multiple trauma, surgery on the spinal cord is usually delayed. I am glad that he got the steroids. His prognosis depends a lot on his neurological examination when he wakes up.

              Wise.

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              • #8
                Well it seems he had a cold when he was admitted. They are trying to clear his lungs before they take him off the breathing machine. He seems to have alot of fluid in them. He has been taken off 2 of the pain drugs he was on but he is still sedated. They do not want to wake him until his lungs are clear so that they can see if he can come off the machine.

                They are saying he will go back into surgery on Tuesday for his hand which they will be taking fatty tissue and skin from his arm to repair his hand.

                He now has a UTI they think as his pee is a bit cloudy. They have sent it off to be tested. If he has a UTI they said they would give him an antibiotic.

                No pressure sores as of yet.

                Is it normal to be sedated for so long after surgery?

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                • #9
                  With multiple injuries there really is no normal. Keep asking questions of the doctors and here. The bed you describe ought to help prevent sores. Other than that, I will refrain from advice. My initial treatment was so long ago most of what I went through belongs in history books. I will keep you and your brother in my prayers.
                  Tom

                  "Blessed are the pessimists, for they hath made backups." Exasperated 20:12

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                  • #10
                    Michelle I'm sorry to hear of your brother's sci.
                    He's very lucky to have you. Also nice you found CC.
                    Dr. Wise above can give you great info.
                    All the members here are eager to help too.
                    I'm glad he got steroids. I'll be praying for him.
                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      Is it normal to be sedated for so long after surgery?
                      Yes. They are keeping him sedated because he is still on a ventilator, and because his lungs also are not clear yet, which further compounds the issue. Recall he has a tube down his throat and they are blowing air into his lungs. This is not something that is well tolerated, it induces anxiety, and even more so when using ventilator modes that aren't similar to normal breathing patterns, as can be required when needing to address coexisting respiratory disease. If they allow him to wake up too much, he is liable to become agitated and is at risk of extubating (removing the tube), or pulling out IV lines and injuring surgical sites, his hand, for example. I would think that as his lungs clear and he is able to be weaned from the ventilator, the need for sedation should end.

                      This question is exactly the kind of thing you can and should ask the doctors and nurses who are caring for him. Not because folks here aren't willing to answer questions, absolutely, but because it is your right as a family member to have them answer them for you. We don't just take care of patients, it is our job to tend to their family members as well (within bounds of course). Your brother is not able to advocate for himself right now, so it is really important that he have somebody else who can do it for him. Unless you understand what is happening, and why, you won't be in a good position to do that. I give you tons of credit for coming here and asking questions, it proves that you care and want information and are willing to take the time to go out and look for it. This forum is an invaluable resource. By the same token, so are the people who are caring for him now, the doctors and nurses. I know the doctors can be hard to catch, and even if you do, get the time that you need, and often people are intimidated by them. The nurses are much easier to manage to get a few minutes with (and less threatening ), and most will be very willing to answer questions if you ask them. At least I certainly hope so!

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                      • #12
                        You say your brother is heavily sedated...Is he aware of what has happened and what the extent of his injury is? If not that is something that you will need to be prepared to deal with when they stop sedation and start weaning him off the vent. It will be a difficult time for all involved. I hope you keep coming to the forum for support and answers to your questions. Please feel free to contact me on private messages if you have any questions as far as care giving as I have been completly involved in my daughters care and recovery since her accident on 4/14/08.

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                        • #13
                          One year post accident now

                          We are at our 1st yr past this accident. My brother is in the hospital now and has been on and off since Thanksgiving. He had surgery yesterday to repair a flap in his throat that had grown making it so he couldnt eat. While in there they noticed that the plate they put in after his accident had migrated and was showing through his throat. He has been on heavy drugs since his accident for pain and a lot of people thought he should have been much better by now but it was not the case. Now with this new info we understand what has been happening. He needs to go back into surgery to remove the plate and rods and fix this problem.

                          Our complete journey can be found at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/aaronchandler/journal

                          If doctor Wise could read that site and give me some advice I would greatly appreciate it.

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                          • #14
                            Michelle, so sorry to hear of your brother's injury, but it is very good your found this site as all your questions can be addressed over time. The fact that Dr. Young thinks the hospital your brother is in is a good one means a lot. It is pretty much standard to keep someone sedated who has multi injuries and is on a vent. The vent staying in until they clear some of the fluid in his lungs also makes a lot of sense, as you do not want him conscious and laboring to breathe. Keep writing here, keep asking questions.

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                            • #15
                              Sorry, I should have read the last post instead of the first one from a year ago. I am glad you are still asking the questions though....

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