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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 31704
Experience:  Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
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My brother is on an ECMO machine, and ventilation, currently

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My brother is on an ECMO machine, and ventilation, currently receiving 100% oxygen from the ECMO, and 50% from ventilator. He has been on these numbers for two days, oxygenation rate around 97-100. Has Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), likely a result of his overdose on Seroquel 2 weeks earlier (6500mg). Is there any reasonable chance he will survive? He is 43 years old, preexisting condition HIV, for which he was/is on medication, low viral count, otherwise in outstanding health.
Hi--and I think we've talked about this before--how is he otherwise, i.e. his kidney, liver, and heart function? Is he considered septic? I think you mentioned cultures before but has he had blood cultures?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Other than his lungs, everything else is fine. No indication of sepsis, heart in excellent shape, kidneys working very well. White blood cell count normal, all other organ systems functioning normally. His x-rays have previously shown a consistent decline and his lungs appeared "white" on a ct-scan. Today's x-ray was *slightly* better, emphasis on slightly. Lung biopsy came back negative, and they tested for basically everything he could possibly have, leading the doctors to think the overdose caused the lung damage. He does not have pneumonia or any other bacterial/viral/fungal condition.

OK--how many days total has he been intubated and on a ventilator?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I would say for the past 8 days.

OK. Of course, it's hard for me to be exact here, not being able to see his chart and examining him, but that's not your fault. ARDS usually occurs after a major insult to the body--infection with sepsis, major hemorrhage with shock, aspiration pneumonia, etc. The most important treatment is to successfully treat the underlying problem--the causative event. In this case, with organs functioning and white count OK and no evidence of ongoing infection, the chances are very good that he'll get through this and come off the ventilator but hopefully that will be soon because the longer one is intubated, the more likely a pneumonia or another hospital-acquired infection will occur and that could be a major setback.
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