October 13, 2013


This is a list of the handful of drugs that Ruthe's been on since surgery.  I mostly wanted to write them down so I would remember what they're called and what they do.  The doctors and nurses throw around so many different terms it's hard to keep track!  And I thought it might be interesting for all of you, too, so you can get a glimpse of the miracle that is modern medicine.

Lasix - a diuretic, to help her get all the fluids out of her body.  She was on this in the hospital last time, and the whole time she was home between surgeries.  Her dosage is higher in the hospital, but only because they're pumping her full of more fluids than normal.  They've taken her off the IV drip of Lasix, and put her on doses every 8 hours, and by the time she's home it will probably be every twelve hours.

Heparin - blood-thinner, to keep clots from forming in her shunt or on any of the scar tissue in her heart.  They've switched this out for once-a-day aspirin, and that's what she'll go home on.

Precedex - a non-narcotic sedative, keeps her relaxed and sleeping without affecting her respiratory system.  That means they can keep her sedated and wean her off the ventilator at the same time, a big bonus for a baby who needs to stay asleep but hates hates HATES the breathing tube.

Epinephrine - adrenaline to help manage her blood pressure.  Ruthe's been weaned off this and has been managing her blood pressure just fine for the past day.

Morphine - pain management.  Last time Ruthe had surgery they were giving her a combo seditave/pain killer.  This time they opted for morphine, because - really - who doesn't love morphine?! She's still on a very low dose, they're weaning her slowly so she doesn't have withdrawals.  Poor nugget :(

Milrinone - for contractility.  Another heart-med.  This one helps the chambers of Ruthe's heart contract the way they're supposed to, since the surgery changed the way her heart's been working until now.  

Benadryl - an antihistamine to treat the itchiness caused by the morphine.  When Ruthe was first starting to come out of the anesthesia, she would wriggle around like a funny little worm.  It took a couple times for the nurse to realize that she was probably itchy and didn't know how to handle it.  Once she got the first dose of benadryl that girl just relaxed so fast and fell right into a peaceful slumber!

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