Friday, August 2, 2013

Oh, what a pretty color yellow

Inova Fairfax, his new corner
When we arrived at Fairfax from Alexandria we were shown how to put on isolation gowns and glove up. Simply a precautionary measure for babies transferring in from other hospitals.  They took culture samples from Calder's skin and his nose and sent them off to the lab for screening...all routine.  I now know that I should pay much more attention to movies because they lay out in easy to comprehend fashion the way the world works.  If a doctor tells you something is routine, and makes you put on a silly will be QUARANTINED.  Fortunately nobody is wearing the outbreak style face masks yet: Calder simply has a healthy colony of Staphylococcus Aureus, a name worthy to lead a gladiator rebellion.

There are a wide variety of staph. The MRSA (super-bug) variety are the ones that hospitals freak out about and nobody wants.  Calder's is not MRSA but good old run-o-the-mill variety. Run-o-the-mill staph is common (almost a a third of all grownups have staph on their skin) but it can become problematic if it gets into open wounds or if you have an immunodeficiency -- like preemies do -- and it gets into your lungs. Calder is not symptomatic for the negative effects of staph: his hermatocrit is low, he doesn't have a high number white blood cells (which you would expect to increase to fight infection), his esophagus is not inflamed, and they are not getting a large amount of secretions when they suction his breathing tube. They are putting antibiotic ointment on his heel, which has an IV chemical burn, and he's getting the same ointment dabbed inside his nose to clear up his sinuses. The ointment is just like Neosporin ... which I swore I would not use on my kids because it's sissy juice. Calder has me breaking a lot of my preconceived parenting rules. Because Calder is still a surgery candidate they are also giving him an IV antibiotic, which they hope will reduce the staph count on his skin and thus reduce the chance of an infection if they have to do surgery.

So far, they've found the staph both on his skin (in his wound), in his mucous and on his ET tube. They sent another culture to the lab this morning to see whether it's in his blood.

For the grownups in the room, his staph means that we get to wear yellow gowns and gloves for the rest of the time that he's in the NICU.  Not too bad, but with limited baby interaction already the loss of skin contact is a bit of a bummer.  But what a pretty color yellow.

Taryn got to do a bit of mouth care on the little guy today...very nice technique. (video to come, if Blogger let's us!)

Thursday's echo showed that his PDA had increased in size from 1.7 to about 3. But because he is still clinically "stable," they aren't rushing to perform the ligation. They also want to see whether the antibiotics have any effect; if an infection is present, it could be causing dilation of blood vessels as well, so taking care of any infection may also have a positive effect on the PDA. To give the antibiotics time to work, the next echo is scheduled for Monday.


  1. Calder is absolutely adorable! I love seeing his eyes open in the first pic. Sending love your way! :)

    1. Thanks, Jubes! We keep trying to get good pics of him with his eyes open, but he doesn't make it easy on us since sometimes he's just so quick about it! The new thing is trying to capture his smiles, but those are elusive. Lots of love!

  2. Lookin' sharp. Stay strong for the little guy; he's hanging in there! I can see the fire in his eyes.

    1. Jeff, thanks for the encouragement. I think it's because he's at least half Buckeye!