sday afternoon. The staff there placed him on oxygen and medications, but eventually had to sedate and intubate him and place him on a ventilator. Intravenous lines were placed in his arms and into his femoral artery, signaling the therapy that was to come and that ultimately would save his life. At this point, despite their determined efforts, the physicians at Renown barely were keeping Jordan alive. His blood pressure and oxygen levels had ‘crashed’. “We stayed up with him throughout the night as his blood pressure and blood oxygen remained at dangerously low levels,” Herbst said.
Then, in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Aug. 14, Jordan’s physicians came and spoke with his parents again. Jordan was pale, blue and sedated.
“They said, ‘We can’t manage this. You need to get him to a better-equipped hospital,’” Herbst recalled. “His only hope was to be airlifted again to UC Davis Children’s Hospital in Sacramento, where they had a device called ECMO (extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation),” he said.
Dean Blumberg, chief of the division of pediatric infectious diseases at UC Davis Children’s Hospital, said the decision by doctors at Renown to transfer their patient was crucial to Jordan’s survival.
“One of the scariest aspects of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is the dramatic clinical deterioration that occurs over the course of hours,” Blumberg said. “Despite maximal conventional supportive efforts, the respiratory failure relentlessly progresses. Intervening with extra-corporeal life support for a relatively short period of time is a lifesaver for these patients.”
The second airlift: UC Davis Children’s Hospital
Physicians in Reno already had contacted UC Davis Children’s Hospital, which dispatched its specially trained Pediatric Critical Care Transport Team. The team provides specialized neonatal/pediatric transports from referring facilities back to UC Davis Children’s Hospital. Although sending a specialized t
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