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Dr. Brims
Dr. Brims, U.S. Licensed Physician
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 9605
Experience:  U.S. Licensed Physician, general surgery and internal medicine experience
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My brother who is HIV+ (on antiretroviral medication) is being

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My brother who is HIV+ (on antiretroviral medication) is being treated in the ICU for pneumonia that is not responding to antibiotics (vancomycin and zosyn). he is on a ventilator, and likely contracted the pneumonia that way. He is currently getting 80% oxygen and has a 98% saturation rate. The problem is, his oxygen that he is getting keeps going up as his lungs get worse. My question is, what happens if he needs to get 100% oxygen and his saturation rate falls below 90% (they want it to be at least 90%)?

Cultures and blood tests have been unsuccessful at determining the pneumonia, and some more blood and lung tests are still outstanding.

Also, I would really like to arrange for a consultation and second opinion from a doctor that works in infectious diseases in weill-cornell medical center. Is that possible? Do hospitals normally do that? Just to see whether someone else can more quickly and competently and aggressively determine what pathogen he has.

Thanks.

Dr Brims :

Hello, welcome to the site! I will try to assist you with your medical question, and any medical information you seek

Dr Brims :

I'm sorry to hear about this

Customer:

thank you

Dr Brims :

If his oxygen saturation falls below 90% while on 100% oxygen he will gradually fall into respiratory depression

Customer:

what does that mean

Dr Brims :

If he is on a ventilator, and 100% oxygen, then there is nothing else they can do but try to treat the infection

Dr Brims :

It means his lungs are failing

Customer:

i literally just spoke to the nurse so i'm getting this information as I go

Customer:

they said

Customer:

they could give him steroids to help his breathing. is that true?

Dr Brims :

Yes, they could give steroids if they have not already, but that is a short term fix, it will not solve the long term problem

Customer:

ok, they also mentioned an oscillator

Customer:

as a last resort. what would that do?

Dr Brims :

That sometime helps preserve the oxygen in the lungs in respiratory failure, it has been shown to be effective, if the ICU he is in has one, that is good, not all ICU's have it

Customer:

ok yes they have it. but said it would be a last resort. my other question is can i get a second opinion consultation from frankly a better hospital

Customer:

weill-cornell is nearby. i would want to talk to them

Dr Brims :

The hospital he is in will not likely to allow that, I doubt it is possible unless they transfer him to that hospital

Dr Brims :

Unless the hospital he is in is affiliated with cornell

Customer:

hmm, that's unfortunate. i guess the only thing to do is transfer him if that's all that's left

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