Sunday, June 17, 2012


     Do you believe in faith healing ?. Do prayers work ? Is it that prayers work or whatever is going to happens and we give credit to ' medicines ' ( where most of the people will have no problem giving credit )or prayers or some other things . This story is such that though not common , I have seen it happen , and though not impossible , certainly it is not common .
     I was called to see a patient in the middle of the night . It was Saturday night . I had a call from ICU .  It was a case of post cardiac arrest patient in a 38 years old male . In these cases at that one can not do much , but I still go to see patient .
     I went to ICU. It was 2 or 3 am of Sunday morning . He was a 38 years old male , who was on respirator, unconscious . The story was that he was businessman who had a pyramidal scheme in selling vitamins and many other products . He was quite successful and just build a 7000sq. feet house . He had house warming party and the when almost everyone had left , he and his associate did cocaine . He had a cardiac arrest . With his good luck his friend did the CPR and the paramedics were called . HE was intubated and resuscitated and put on respirator and was admitted to ICU and I was seeing him at 3am .
    His x-ray was normal and most of the blood work was also normal . His drug screen was positive for cocaine and pot . He was unresponsive . The CT scan of the brain was normal . So in short he had what will be called " hypoxic Encephalopathy  " , which means when he used drug, he had cardiac arrest . So then during that short time in between his heart stoppage and restarting , his brain did not get oxygen . This causes brain injury. The extent of the damage can not be estimated by CT scan and one has to wait and allow the time to see if he is going to wake up and how functional he is going to be .
     His wife and his daughter was present bedside. so was his business partner . They were all shaken up . I explained them the situation  and told them that we will have to wait for few days and see how he does. I also consulted a neurologist, who was not going to do much , but he can add to the mix and do brain wave recording and see how the brain doing .
    The next day , when I came in all the people were there and there was no change in his neurological condition . So there was nothing to do . The neurologist had seen him and did order EEG -brain wave recordings .
     The days went by and he had no improvement in his status .When it was 8 days and there was no change , I had to talk to them about tracheotomy and 'chance ' of improvement , which reduces , as time goes on . He was young and chance of 'waking up ' was there . The neurologist was not that optimistic and was little blunt. he business associate was mad and wanted second opinion . There was a constant tape going on next to his bed with his daughter's voice, 'Daddy , this is Lauren , I love you '. I had developed good relationship with the family and the friend .We also decided to do trach. by 14th day . At that time he asked me if it would be OK if he could get some 'Faith healers . ' I told him that it will be OK as long as they follow ICU rules and don't disturb other patients .
     The next day the faith healers came in . I was not there . He also had asked for the 'aroma therapy' This was also done He had trach done . He was still unresponsive by 18th day . But the fried had told me that the 'faith healer s' had seen the 'angels ' and that means he was 'protected ' will survive . I was not that sure .
     We had no special plan . The plan that I had talked to the family and the case management was to get him in to a special care unit , a sort of nursing home which can take patient with respirator and try to wean them off . I was not too sure when this could be done without causing much resistance or commotion. Due to his insurance issues we had to transfer him to another hospital .
    There was nothing happening , he was being weaned off the respirator and was being fed via feeding tube . AND IT HAPPENED . When I went to see him he was opening eyes and was following minimally . In next 3 dayes he was more awake and was off the respirator. It was almost 4 weeks . He was not oriented, nor was he normal , but he was awake and was following some commands .
     He was discharge to a nursing home for rehabilitation I had taken out trach and feeding tube was left in , though he was eating on his own .
    SO did aroma therapy work ? Was the faith healer prediction and seeing Angels correct? Or it was just a CHANCE?

Last note ----he did come to my office in about 4 months. with his wife and the daughter. Had some memory loss , but was fully functional in day to day life and had started getting back in the business .  

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