Wow, that sounds awful.
Sickest pt I've had within the last month or so was: 20 something yr old girl, with a congenital anemia (called Diamond BlackFan Anemia) and awful CHF. Came to our hospital, coded, was resuscitated successfully. CV surgeons got on board very aggressively (in a good way), took her to OR w/ plans to put in a bi-vad. Ended up almost coding in OR, so instead came out on ECMO (hardly ever happens, we cant even remember our last pt on ECMO). Open sternum, high doses of Epi, NTG, Milrinone, Dobuta, Dopa, Vaso, Amio, Levophed, Insulin. Heparin for the ECMO. Sedated/paralyzed w/ Fentanyl and Vec. Bled like crazy post op. Pressures up and down constantly. Tons and tons of blood products given. Tons and tons of antibiotics also. Perfusionist glued to the bedside. MD's worried about ALI from all the blood, started HFOV (was still being vented while she was on ECMO). She also had severe underlying sepsis prior to surgery (blood cx's grew out nasty stuff, cant remember what, and her temp on arrival to ICU from OR was 102.5 on the Swan Ganz!!) She stayed on all this for almost 5 days before stabilized and they started weaning everything one by one. Later took her back and switched her to a Heart Mate II VAD, closed her chest. Progressed slowly to extubation after weaning from the osscilator. Fast forward about a month of arrival, and she's off almost all her drips, VAD working well, no focal neuro deficits, ambulates well, eating well, good oxygenation, decent renal function, severe edema gradually improving. Moved her to the telemetry floor. Probably going home soon with the VAD as destination therapy (doesnt qualify for heart transplant d/t the Diamond BlackFan). We never thought she'd make it so far and do so well. We were prepared for her to die on day 1. Amazing family... very supportive, concerned, and appreciative. Kudos to all my fellow nurses who cared for her, and the CV docs who were so aggressive