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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 18536
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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A friend was in a car accident exactly one week ago. She had

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A friend was in a car accident exactly one week ago. She had her spleen removed and part of colon. Days later she had neck surgery. She has been on a ventilator the entire time, first at 100% and now at 40% with PEEP. She was awake but had a gagging episode yesterday. They are waiting confirmation of pneumonia. She is now so sedated and unresponsive after being able to write notes down for a couple days. The family is now being told very little if anything and has become very scared. I am wondering if prognosis would be given at this time and how worried we all should be. Thank you.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Neurology
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Also, other than the neck fusion, there was no brain trauma but she does have a collapsed lung.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
tonight they discovered visual fistulas on her trachea area. Scan was preformed STAT but still waiting results
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 2 years ago.
Hello from JustAnswer. I am sorry that your friend is having so many problems.
There is still much clinical information that is lacking to be able to make a more definite statement about prognosis. However, the most likely clinical situations to cause this presentation would have a generally good prognosis. Any serious lung injury or infection that requires ventilatory support can be life threatening, but the vast majority of people in this situation will have a full recovery without any significant long-term sequelae.
The deterioration in her condition would most likely be due to a pneumonia, and these will typically respond well to antibiotics. There also can be lung dysfunction directly related to the trauma, and that also will usually improve with time and supportive care. It is also possible that worsening lung function could be related to clots in the lungs, but this also would typically respond well to treatment. The fistulas may require surgical repair, but this also usually would not cause long-term problems.
Whenever there is a neck injury, there also would be concern about injury to the spinal cord, but it is a good thing that she was able to write notes for a few days.
If I can provide any further information, please let me know.

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