Saturday, June 27, 2009

Update on Kent #4

I just finished speaking with his primary day nurse, who gave me a good summary of his condition. Currently, the most urgent issue is the lung infection and the resultant fever. Based on early images of his lungs, they are convinced that he had community-acquired pneumonia when he was admitted into the emergency room on Saturday morning. If not for the accident, the infection probably would have been killed off by the body's endogenous defenses, but the trauma to his body has given this infection the opportunity to flourish. The good news is that the infection hasn't spread to other parts of his body yet. They are treating it with two different antibiotics, and they are hopeful that it will be eradicated within the next two days.

They recently discovered two blood clots in his lungs. This isn't too much of a problem (according to the nurse), but it does explain the recent setbacks in his breathing. They are treating the clots (in his lungs, as well as some in his arm) with a blood-thinner.

On the bright side, the medical team has been giving him much more appropriate levels of pain medication. This brings his heart rate down and allows him to sleep a little.

With regards to his breathing, there are two crucial numbers with which we have become well-acquainted. First, there is the PEEP. It stands for Positive End-Expiratory Pressure, and it is indicative of the amount of pressure that the respirator maintains in his airway after he exhales. This positive pressure keeps the alveoli open and prevents the lungs from collapsing. Currently, his PEEP reading is 14.0, which is the highest that it has been, and this is primarily to address the clotting in his lung.

Another important number is the oxygen content of the air being pumped into him by the ventilator. This number is an indirect measure of the efficiency of his breathing. The air that we normally breathe has an oxygen content of roughly 21%, but the oxygen content of the air Dad is breathing has been as high as 70%. Right now he's at 40%, which is very good, given his current situation.

His temperature is currently 38.5 Celsius, which is 101.3 Farenheit. This is down from his temperature last night, which was 39.5 C (or 103.1 F).

His heart rate is 126. I can see his chest pounding through his hospital gown. In spite of this, he is sleeping peacefully now. Occasionally, he'll raise his eyebrows as if he just heard some surprising bit of news, or he'll start to lift his hand like he wants to scratch an itch, but his arm only gets so far before it falls back down to the bed. I miss him and I want him to wake up.


  1. Hang in there Dan. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We so appreciate the updates you are providing and pray for your Dad's recovery.

  2. Dan, I pour my soul out to you and your family every time i check your blog, i am a friend of a friend and have been following everything since we heard on saturday. The one thing that i want to impress upon you is that it is your stength and faith that will hold all the pieces together for your family. I have been in your position as family spokesman and i truly commend you for the strength you and courage you have put forth under these cicumstances. i want to bear you my testimony of the great blessings you will realize by your diligent efforts to keep us informed. you have eased the anxious hearts and minds of so many. i probably won't ever meet you, but please know my prayers are with ALL of you.

  3. Dear Wood Family - We are so sorry to hear about the loss of your sweet mother. We lived in Folsom about 10 years ago when your dad was our bishop and just loved him and your mom -- they were great examples to us as new parents. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. Love, Mark & Carrie Korth

  4. We will continue to pray for your Dad & all of the family as well. During this difficult time Heavenly Father is with you. May he bless you all with comfort & strength.

  5. We'll keep praying for your dad and the rest of your family. Thank you for keeping us updated on your dad's progress.

  6. You are so amazing Dan! Hang in there. Your strength is an example to us all. We are praying fervently for your family. Thank you for the updates.