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Thread: 6 days into C6 injury

  1. #11
    Is it normal to be sedated for so long after surgery?
    Yes. They are keeping him sedated because he is still on a ventilator, and because his lungs also are not clear yet, which further compounds the issue. Recall he has a tube down his throat and they are blowing air into his lungs. This is not something that is well tolerated, it induces anxiety, and even more so when using ventilator modes that aren't similar to normal breathing patterns, as can be required when needing to address coexisting respiratory disease. If they allow him to wake up too much, he is liable to become agitated and is at risk of extubating (removing the tube), or pulling out IV lines and injuring surgical sites, his hand, for example. I would think that as his lungs clear and he is able to be weaned from the ventilator, the need for sedation should end.

    This question is exactly the kind of thing you can and should ask the doctors and nurses who are caring for him. Not because folks here aren't willing to answer questions, absolutely, but because it is your right as a family member to have them answer them for you. We don't just take care of patients, it is our job to tend to their family members as well (within bounds of course). Your brother is not able to advocate for himself right now, so it is really important that he have somebody else who can do it for him. Unless you understand what is happening, and why, you won't be in a good position to do that. I give you tons of credit for coming here and asking questions, it proves that you care and want information and are willing to take the time to go out and look for it. This forum is an invaluable resource. By the same token, so are the people who are caring for him now, the doctors and nurses. I know the doctors can be hard to catch, and even if you do, get the time that you need, and often people are intimidated by them. The nurses are much easier to manage to get a few minutes with (and less threatening ), and most will be very willing to answer questions if you ask them. At least I certainly hope so!

  2. #12
    You say your brother is heavily sedated...Is he aware of what has happened and what the extent of his injury is? If not that is something that you will need to be prepared to deal with when they stop sedation and start weaning him off the vent. It will be a difficult time for all involved. I hope you keep coming to the forum for support and answers to your questions. Please feel free to contact me on private messages if you have any questions as far as care giving as I have been completly involved in my daughters care and recovery since her accident on 4/14/08.

  3. #13

    One year post accident now

    We are at our 1st yr past this accident. My brother is in the hospital now and has been on and off since Thanksgiving. He had surgery yesterday to repair a flap in his throat that had grown making it so he couldnt eat. While in there they noticed that the plate they put in after his accident had migrated and was showing through his throat. He has been on heavy drugs since his accident for pain and a lot of people thought he should have been much better by now but it was not the case. Now with this new info we understand what has been happening. He needs to go back into surgery to remove the plate and rods and fix this problem.

    Our complete journey can be found at

    If doctor Wise could read that site and give me some advice I would greatly appreciate it.

  4. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    last house on the left
    Michelle, so sorry to hear of your brother's injury, but it is very good your found this site as all your questions can be addressed over time. The fact that Dr. Young thinks the hospital your brother is in is a good one means a lot. It is pretty much standard to keep someone sedated who has multi injuries and is on a vent. The vent staying in until they clear some of the fluid in his lungs also makes a lot of sense, as you do not want him conscious and laboring to breathe. Keep writing here, keep asking questions.

  5. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    last house on the left
    Sorry, I should have read the last post instead of the first one from a year ago. I am glad you are still asking the questions though....

  6. #16
    Michelle, first off I'm very sorry to hear about all you guys are going through. I know it's so hard to believe but it does get better. Take it one day at and time and remember you're an exceptional person for doing what you've done. I wish you guys the best and will keep you in my prayers.
    Donnie: Dr. Xiao, What are your thoughts on a cure/combination therapy for SCI's??
    CG Xiao: Donnie, I don't want to disappoint you, but I think it is impossible to restore the continuity of the cord or "bridge the gap" in the near future, let's say: 50 years. Dr Wise Young has been my most respected scientist in SCI. He has dedicated and contributed to SCI no other can match.

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