Please read this and tell me your opinions...seriously ill relative

  1. My sister's husband has been in the ICU since late Friday afternoon. He was sick for a few days (maybe 3 or 4) prior, went to the doc on Fri. morn...they said he had pneumonia and gave him antibiotics. My sister got home from work late afternoon and found him very bad, struggling to breathe, took him to ER and they admitted him to ICU they said he was dehydrated, very low BP, etc. They told her that he was most likely septic.
    Yesterday morning they put him on a vent and put in a central line and a swan ganz catheter. The doc told her he has ARDS.
    My sister says his skin is yellow, and they have told her today that his kidneys are not functioning well and that he may need a blood transfusion. He has been heavily sedated since they put him on the vent. Yesterday my sister swears his BP was 80/16! Now today she says it is up to 85/40 or something close to that.
    They said his blood cultures haven't grown anything but they are taking more samples.
    He is only 29 years old! I can't understand how this could have happened so quickly. Have any of you ever had a pt like this and what was the outcome? What do you think the likelihood of him coming out of this is?
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    OH yea massive sepsis * and * ARDS can both act like that and take you down FAST..you better believe it. I hope he recovers and completely. He is young, and that is fortunate. With intensive and comprehensive care, he hopefully will make a full recovery soon. MY best thoughts are with you and your family at this very stressful time. Take care of yourselves and keep us updated, please.
  4. by   hoolahan
    Yes I have seen it that fast, and yes I have seen people make a full recovery w aggressive treatment. I wonder why they are allowing his pressure to stay so low, is he on a dopamine drip at renal dose at least or neo to raise BP?

    I will keep him in my prayers. :kiss
  5. by   Stargazer
    I had a 32-yr old pt once in ICU who got that sick that fast. He had a history of chronic ear infections for which he frequently took antibiotics. He ended up with an extremely resistant infection which turned into pneumonia overnight. Ended up septic, intubated, sedated, etc. just like your BIL. The most reactive airways, bar none, I have ever seen. Even when sedated, every time he coughed, he came right up off of the bed. It was kind of disturbing.

    He was on the vent for about a week but was able to come off as the pnemonia resolved and graduated to the regular respiratory floor. Went home without any serious sequlae as far as I know.
  6. by   Emperess
    AngelicNurse, I wanted to point out that there is a good chance the blood cultures WON'T grow anything since he was already on antibiotics, but it sounds like they have plenty of clinical info to treat him as septic even without positive blood cultures.

    I, too, have seen it this fast before, it often is. As long as his systems are well-supported in the meantime, there's no reason why he can't recover fully. Our thoughts are all with you, don't forget to take care of yourself and encourage your sister to do the same in the meantime.
  7. by   deespoohbear
    Nothing more to add except for best wishes and prayers for your BIL and your family....:kiss
  8. by   Zee_RN
    Yes, it can happen this quickly and to the young. Had a 43-year-old healthy male patient on the vent for 10 days with an overwhelming pneumonia. Cultures never did grow anything either. They put it down to "atypical pneumonia." He eventually came off the vent and is home and doing fine now. If your BIL in septic, yes, his BP can be in the 80s. Hopefully, they are treating that. ARDS does have a high mortality rate (50/50) but his age is in his favor. My sister has been through ARDS twice.

    Our prayers are with you.
  9. by   cactus wren
    did they make sure that this isn`t hantavirus??
    That also strikes rapidly...and has many of the symptoms you listed...
  10. by   christinemj
    Praying for a quick and full recovery for your BIL...........
  11. by   Tookie
    Thoughts to you and your family
    Hope your next post is good and happy news
  12. by   Glad2behere
    AngelicNurse,

    Hoolahan and Emperess are correct! Your BIL is in septic shock!
    He needs dopamine or levophed to bump the BP and volume depletion treated aggressively. Cultures need to come from the ET tube when suctioning. His temp needs to be watched like a hawk, often these patients will spike to 106 or greater. I hope he comes out of it. We always push them to the edge of CHF, get the temp down, and make the kidneys work. If they go into CHF, we know we're halfway home, just dose them with Lasix and keep pouring the fluids. Had three patients like this last week, he is young and will pull through.
  13. by   A Kitty RN
    Sorry to hear of your news. Just here to offer support and prayers.
  14. by   ERNurse752
    I've seen it happen this quickly and severely, and they were young as well...it was a long road, but they did recover.

    Keep us updated, and I hope he starts to improve soon.

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