Real stories of how the CDI services have changed people's lives! (Names have been changed to provide anonymity to our patients)
Mary - Carotid Endarterectomy
Mary was a 72 year old grandmother who was having occasional dizziness and blurry vision. She needed to have a left carotid endarterectomy. Without this surgery, she could possibly have a stroke. Adding to her concern, she was expected the birth of a great-grandchild and had thoughts of not being around for the child. Once asleep for the procedure, she was hooked up to SEP and EEG monitoring with her head turned to the correct position. SEP responses on the non-operative side decreased in amplitude and the EEG slowed. The online interpreting physician confirmed the response change which did not resolve with her head being placed back to a neutral position. The neurologist was called to the room, and he viewed the EEG change as well. Upon waking up, she was unable to move her non-operative side arm. She was treated for a stroke and rushed to MRI where it revealed a small clot lodged in her right carotid artery. Her symptoms resolved later that afternoon and she walked out of the hospital the next day. She eventually had the plaque removed from both of her carotids and was there for her great-granddaughter's birth.
Henry - Cervical Decompression and Fusion
Henry was an independent 86 year old who lived by himself. He noticed that his legs were feeling heavier, and he was having a hard time holding things with his hands, but brushed it off thinking it was just old age. One day his granddaughter came to visit for dinner, and he was not able to get out of his chair to greet her. He argued that he must be tired, but she called the paramedics anyways. Henry was taken to the ER where his tests revealed severe cervical stenosis, and his symptoms continued to progress at an alarming rate. It was not long before he lost bowel and bladder function. He was immediately started on steroids and was cleared for an anterior/posterior cervical decompression and fusion due the degree of stenosis. Once asleep, SEPs were hooked up and used for positioning. Changes were noted and positioning was changed until his responses were at the baseline recordings. After a long operation , he went to the ICU and then rehab. On his 6 month visit, the surgeon entered the exam room and only saw the granddaughter, which led him to think the worst. She asked him to please follow her, and through the door of the waiting room, there stood Henry who promptly walked over to the doctor and shook his hand in gratitude. SEPs allowed for proper positioning and proper cord perfusion during Henry's long operation. He has now returned to one of his favorite hobbies - walking the 3 blocks down the street to the grocery store to do his own shopping.
Nathan - ORIF Acetabulum
As a very recent victim of a motor vehicle accident, Nathan, a young man in his mid-20s, had a left acetabulum fracture, a left proximal fibular fracture, and a left knee dislocation. Having been an active young man, a former college football player in fact, Nathan's inability to feel or move his left leg at all was beyond frightening. The anesthesiologist proceeded to sedate the patient and position him on his side. SEP baselines were quickly obtained, and while the right leg had normal responses, the left leg's responses were very small in amplitude, delayed, and unstable. The surgeon was informed of the sciatic nerve's status. Everyone in the room understood that the likelihood of Nathan regaining any sort of normal functioning of his left leg was very slim. The surgeon continued on with the procedure, eventually reconstructing the acetabulum by piecing together the shattered bone fragments, simultaneously decompressing the nerve. During this process, the responses from the sciatic nerve in the operative leg began to get much stronger and stable. The surgeon was informed of this improvement, and because the surgeon was now aware of the nerve's viability, he was able to make a more informed judgement call regarding the approach.
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