Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Progress Report

UPDATE #1: Two weeks ago we took Evan to the Ophthalmologist for his follow up appointment to make sure that his left eye was still on target to develop normally. We were worried that there might be very slight Retinopothy of Prematurity.

What is Retinopothy of Prematurity (ROP)?
Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a potentially blinding eye disorder that primarily affects premature infants weighing about 2¾ pounds (1250 grams) or less that are born before 31 weeks of gestation (A full-term pregnancy has a gestation of 38–42 weeks). The smaller a baby is at birth, the more likely that baby is to develop ROP. This disorder—which usually develops in both eyes—is one of the most common causes of visual loss in childhood and can lead to lifelong vision impairment and blindness. ROP was first diagnosed in 1942.

During Evan's last check up it seemed that the blood vessels in his left eye weren't developing in a normal way and so the doctor wanted to wait and see if he just needed more time for the eye to develop. The good news is that his eye is perfect and there is no reason to think that ROP will be an issue for him at all. Both boys have been cleared of the concern for ROP and will have a standard follow up in six months.

UPDATE #2: On Friday last week we took Cameron for his one month follow up with the pulmanologist in Rockville. At these appointments they measure how well Cameron's oxygen blood saturation level is (that's the little red light you see strapped to a preemie's foot or wrist in NICU photos) while on the oxygen as a base line. He was at 99 to 98% which is exactly where you want him to be on oxygen. Then they took him off the oxygen completely and he continued to saturate at 95%. The acceptable unassisted saturation range is between 93% and 98%.

This is excellent news!! This means that we have the official okay to begin weaning Cameron off the oxygen.

This is how it will happen: First we have to hook up a pulsoxymeter meter to his foot or wrist to see how well he's saturating his blood with the oxygen he's breathing. Then while he's sleeping we'll turn off the oxygen for a couple of minutes. We then watch the pulsoxymeter to see if he drops below 93%. We will try to do this 3 times a day as long as he stays above 89%. If he goes below 89% frequently we will put him back on the oxygen and wait another week and start trying all over again. If he does well and stays above 89% each time for a day then we call the doctor's office and give them a progress report. At that point they will determine if we can lower his oxygen down from 1/4 liter over an hour to 1/8 liter. If we do that and he starts struggling again then we have the discretion to increase him back up to where he's comfortable at 1/4 liter. This will most likely happen during feedings or when he's asleep because that's when a persons breathing is the most shallow.

The doctor said again that he's doing very well, not fantastic because he's not gaining enough weight, but doing respectably well. He still feels that Cameron will be off the oxygen in the next month or two.

Keep your fingers crossed!!

Next Update: Our Maryland / Prince Georges County Infants & Toddlers Early Intervention Evaluation coming up on 7/23/08.


Trish said...

great, great news!!

Annie said...

Great news for Evan and Cameron! Good luck with weaning Cameron off the oxygen.

Claire Green said...

Thanks for sharing your story. It seems like I have a very similar one. I hope that I have two babies as beautiful as yours at the end of mine. I am being monitored daily to watch dopplers also praying everyday that they are good enough to go one more day.