Infections in the NICU

Auggie has been having a tough couple of days. There had been some redness around his ‘umbi’, the tube that was in his umbilical cord. The doctors decided that it was time to remove that and add a line elsewhere in his body. He has had a couple of IV locations since. The biggest concern with the redness is that it may be an infection. While he was still tolerating his feeds, we did notice that he wasn’t wiggling around as much. He was also having quite a few Bradycardia/apnea spells. As one book put it, premmies can’t explain what’s wrong, so the best way to get attention is to stop breathing.
Blood tests were run and the cultures came back positive for an infection. Even before the results were back, the doctors knew there was a possible infection, so they started him on antibiotics. They have been drawing blood cultures each day in hopes of getting a negative test. There was an additional concern that the infection may have gotten into his brain and spinal fluid, so they did a NICU version of a spinal tap, called a lumbar puncture, to test the fluids. The needle was inserted below his spinal column, where the nerves are ending. The intent is that the nerves aren’t connected down there, so even if one is hit, there is a better chance that it will just move out of the way than be damaged. At least that was my understanding of it.
So the results of the lumbar puncture came back and there were no signs of the infection in his spinal fluid. That was great news.
However, yesterday, we were told that a second infection popped up in one of the cultures. This time it was from the GI tract. That caused a few more concerns and required a few more tests. There is fear that his intestinal walls are too thin and something may have gotten through.
He got an echocardiogram in the morning, met his aunt and uncle in the early afternoon, hung out with mommy for a bit and then got an abdominal ultrasound in the early evening. That was quite a bit for a little boy, but they weren’t quite done yet. The ultrasound didn’t give a clear picture of what was going on, so they did that again this morning. They also did a brain ultrasound to check things out up there. We are awaiting all of those results.

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While the lab results are giving us a pretty rough overview, he looks much better than a few days ago. He is wiggling and fighting back when we change him. I know most parents would probably hate that, but considering it means that he may be kicking these infections, I’ll take that all day long.
He does need more rest and to stay on that antibiotics, but hopefully we’re on the upswing of this and things will get better. We’re going to continue to be by his side as much as we can and plan on celebrating Christmas Eve and morning with him.

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