Friday, February 6, 2009

More Complete Diagnosis

The blood culture is accurate and the infection is Strep B. Apparently, this sort of random flare up is not unheard of--even in full term infants. Some 40% of all women carry this bacteria in their vaginal areas and babies born vaginally (as Brynn was) can pick it up. The bacteria stays dormant for a while and then . . . BAM. No one knows what causes the flare up.

So she has Strep B in her blood, which is actually really good because:
A) it's treatable with Antibiotics (she's on 3 different types) and,
B) they know what they're dealing with

It's bad because Strep B likes to move into:
A) the spinal fluid causing menangitis,
B) the bone tissue causing short term arthritis that must be punctured and drained, and
C) the other skin and exterior tissues.

So far, we've lucked out. It has only moved into the skin and exterior tissues, causing her cellulitis. The spinal fluid sample they drew today so far looks good, but of course it'll be 24-48 hours for the cultures to give us an accurate reading and we know for sure. The X-ray of her hip, which is right below the cellulitis shows no fluid in the bone.

We've also lucked out because the doctors measure CRP (a blood sample) to see how the body is fighting infection. Brynn's first sample came back at .5, which is normal. When they did her second CRP a few hours later, it came back as 9--which means we caught this crazy bug immediately, even before Brynn's little body had mounted a response.

Precisely because Brynn is working SO hard to win the fight against the bacteria, though, is why her breathing and bowels have all but shut down completely. Thank heaven for ventilators and drainage tubes.

If everything goes as the doctors expect, Brynn will be back to herself in a few days. She'll likely go right back to the low flow cannula, perhaps with slightly higher oxygen needs than before but not much. She'll be able to eat again (if she feels up to it), and all of this will soon be a foggy memory.


Some light at the end of this tunnel.

Either way, we'll be in the hospital for a minimum of two weeks more (perhaps four) while she gets a full regiment of antibiotics. Maybe we'll get lucky and she'll learn to eat while she's getting better! Let's not get too excited, though . . .

Thanks again (and again) for everyone's support, prayers, and concern.



Anonymous said...

oh thank God that she will be all right. I was worried about brynn all day today and praying(myself and family) that everything would turn out ok. I will keep you in my thought.... mathias had a good day today he is being weaned on his vent settings and was started back on feedings. On monday when they change out his trach post surgery he will get to be moved out of his radiant warmer back to his crib. We have to get him back off the steroids and all the morphine and versed he is on but those hopefully will be minor things. he is also on only 49% oxygen which he has not been on since he was extubated last time so. Hopefully the trach will fix him...keep me posted on you and your baby girl....josette

TiAnn said...

Oh Natalie, we are praying with all our hearts for your precious little girl. We love you all and will be keeping you in our thoughts.

Carrie said...

I'm so glad to hear it. Brynn is a beautiful little girl and we're praying for all of you. I tested positive for the strep B & had to have antibiotics before Cami's delivery so I know it's common. Hope she's back to her feisty self soon. I loved the little picture of her "praying" a few posts ago - so sweet.

Alyson said...

I've tested GBS positive for my last three deliveries, including two home births. I've never known a baby who was infected! And on top of all the other things she has going on. I'm glad it turned out okay.