Around noon today they did another echo to check on her pulmonary hypertension. This was the low point of the day, because the echo showed that it was pretty severe, and worse than it's been on previous echos. They had started two medications after yesterday's echo to address the pulmonary hypertension. One of them--nitric oxide--should have helped fairly quickly (it didn't), and the other--sildenafil--is more of a long term thing that may not help for awhile. Pulmonary hypertension is really scary, because it can be really hard to treat, and it can be the thing that keeps babies from coming off ECMO. The fact that it was worse today than yesterday wasn't a good sign.
Despite the above, there may be some good news. When they put in Bonnie's chest tube yesterday, the doctor also decided to put in a new endotracheal tube. Using the new tube, today they cultured some fluid from her lungs to see if there could be any infection there. (The previous tube, which had been in for over a week, would have grown bacteria no matter what, just because it had been in for so long. With a new one, they can trust the results of a culture.) So far, it looks like it's growing some sort of gram negative bacteria. I can't remember enough from my microbiology class to explain what that is, other than to say, you don't want gram negative bacteria to be growing in your lungs. Bottom line is that it looks like she has pneumonia. Which sounds like bad news, and it kind of is. However. Pneumonia should be treatable, and they're starting her on antibiotics today. *Also*, a lung infection could explain why her pulmonary hypertension is so bad. Our hope and prayer is that it's the pneumonia that's making her pulmonary hypertension look so bad, and that once her pneumonia clears up, the pulmonary hypertension will improve as well.
If that whole explanation made your head spin, I'm with you. Overall, though, we left the hospital this afternoon with some hope that things may start to improve in the next few days. Right now my main prayer request would be for Bonnie's pulmonary hypertension to go away, or at least improve significantly. Also please pray, of course, that her pneumonia will be easily treatable and won't cause further complications. Thanks, y'all.