Friday, May 28, 2010

emergence delirium

This is a continuation of earlier posts on Ahna's eye surgery. It will be short. We are home and she is awake and needy and quite uncomfortable.

Her surgery went well, we spoke with her opthamologist, then were taken pretty quickly back to the recovery room.  She woke earlier than expected, and to put it mildly, was absolutely beside herself.  The nurse deemed her as a case of emergence delirium:  

"Emergence delirium is defined as a dissociated state of consciousness in which the child is inconsolable, irritable, uncompromising or uncooperative, typically thrashing, crying, moaning, or incoherent. Additionally, paranoid ideation has been observed in combination with these emergence behaviors. Characteristically, these children do not recognize or identify familiar and known objects or people. Parents who witness this state claim the behavior is unusual and uncustomary for the child. Although generally self limiting (5-15 min) ED can be severe and may result in physical harm to the child and particularly the site of surgery." (from a pediatric anesthesiology website)

They thought we might help calm her.  They were wrong.  When we got to her, there were FOUR grown women trying to manage her, keep her safe, keep her IV in and her eyes protected.  Her screams were louder than loud, and as forceful as her kicking legs and flailing arms.  Poor baby.  Poor baby.  Her nurse had given her "two pretty big doses of Fentanyl," without effect so far.  After a few more minutes and me handing her off to Daddy, who was bigger and stronger, AND after one more dose of Fentanyl, she did drift off to sleep.  Body jerking from the crying, she slowly relaxed and gave in to the sedative effects of the drug.  And Daddy didn't let go.  He held her until she woke again, probably an hour later, this time in a much different way. 

Juice in and IV out, we left the hospital less than 5 hours after arriving there.  

She has drifted off to sleep now.  Her eyes are a little swollen and extremely teary and glassy-looking, and her entire face looks generally puffy from the IV fluid.  She is uncomfortable and mostly cries when she is awake so far.  :-(  I don't expect her to be awake for long periods at all today, since they had to give her so much Fentanyl earlier. 

I took pictures throughout the day and plan to post those, but maybe tomorrow.  

We are glad to be on the "other side" of the surgery, for sure.


Karen said...

...continue to pray ~ for all of you~ have had some experience with surgeries and "experience delirium"- this too shall pass!

Christy said...

Ok, I could have done without the "experience delirium". That seriously disturbs me & breaks my heart. Hope she recovers quickly.

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

Oh, I am so sorry!! What a horrible experience.....I am glad she woke up differently the second time around.

I had no idea she was going in for surgery.....I would have stopped over here sooner. Thinking of you all and praying for a speedy recovery!! Please keep us posted!



Lisa writes... said...

How scary! Praying for a speedy recovery!