Sunday, March 18, 2012

Revolving Door

Two days home; I think that's a new record. We're back in the hospital for yet another unscheduled visit.

This morning I hear Ashley shout out "Ryyyyaaaaaannnn! Mallory's broviac is leaking!"

Ugh. The Broviac tube is the tiny silicone tubing that goes into Mallory's chest, and taps into her aorta. It is used to supply drugs, and to draw blood back out. It has two safety mechanisms to avoid leaks or contamination: a mechanical clamp that pinches the line shut, and a spring-loaded valve cap on the end of the line. Those safety mechanisms are are fine and dandy, unless the line breaks further up the line.

Ashley was performing the morning drug ritual on Mallory, and one of those steps includes connecting a syringe to each of the end caps of Mallory's broviac tube, and pushing in "VCH" (Vanco/Cipro/Heparin, for those of you who are keeping track... two antibiotics and an anti-clotting agent).

This morning when Ashley started pushing in the VCH, she said the tube started spraying everywhere; it had sprung a leak.

We both instantly sprang into action, knowing exactly what to do without even having to discuss it. Ashley got on the phone and called the hospital, I started examining the tube to stop the leakage before we could get to the hospital. I folded the line over above the split, and crimped it off using a zip-tie out of my garage. Ashley jumped in the shower, and I got Mallory ready to go.  Off they went, and I made arrangements for Jillian. I had to meet up with Ashley and Mallory later at the hospital.

The hospital is highly vigilant of a bacterial infection for Mallory. This is why when Mallory runs a fever we end up spending 4-6 days in the hospital. Same with a broken line; they are so careful to avoid an infection that they immediately start dosing her with antibiotics when she walks in... just in case. They draw blood and have the lab culture the blood over a period of days to see if any bacteria will grow. If bacteria grows on the cultures, they know she had a bacterial infection, and they keep dosing her accordingly.

After commenting on my zip-tie ingenuity (*pats self on back*), the doctor cut the line clean off and spliced in a   temporary patch. Now we have to wait 24 hours before they can test the patch to see if it left us with a viable broviac line or not.  If it is not viable, Mallory will be going in for surgery #3 to remove and replace her broviac line.

The girls are sleeping soundly now. Good night, all!