Yesterday came with a different attending doctor on duty in the PICU. Dr Avant was taking over for Dr Seigler for a few days. Dr Seigler told me on Wednesday that he would confer with Dr Avant about Brinkley and let him make the call on a diagnosis. After reviewing everything and having yet another chest x-ray. Dr Avant has determined that Brinkley has a respiratory virus. (He is negative for RSV.) He may be aspirating with his reflux, but that is not the primary cause of his current O2 problems.
Dr Avant also determined that there is no need for Brinkley to stay in PICU since they are weening him off of the O2 and he no longer needs to be on a heart monitor. We expect that he will be moved to a regular room sometime today. We will ride out the rest of this virus there. Unfortunately, Brinkley has two things working against him in the recovery process. Dr Seigler talked to me about the fact that children with Downs recover very slowly from any type of pulmonary issue. He said that research is inconclusive as to why this happens, but it likely has to do with the muscle tone issues. Dr Avant added to this conversation that the respiratory things that are currently going around are lingering for everyone, even for otherwise healthy people. He said that many people are symptomatic for a couple of weeks.
We are tweeking the treatment of his reflux a little to see if that helps with the possible aspirations. Otherwise, we are just riding this out. The change of scenery today will be a little bittersweet. It does mean that we are working our way closer to home, but it also means less monitoring for him and learning a whole new set of people.
If you missed the post about Project Brinkley, please check it out and consider participating. We would love to have you be a part!