The sputum (throat mucus) culture has grown out. Ryan grew a bacteria called “serratia marcescens”. This is an opportunistic bacteria that develops secondarily. Most everyone has this bacteria living in their respiratory tract. It seldom creates a problem unless “insulted”. What that means is it is colonized harmlessly in the throat but once disturbed, say by a breathing tube, it jumps at the chance to spread. It will be treated with an antibiotic called “ceftazidime”.
The treatment is to administer the ceftazidime antibiotic over a period of two weeks. It will be delivered through a Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC line, as commonly called). The line will be placed today, bedside.
Ryan will go likely home with this PICC line in place. It will be removed upon completion of the antibiotic.
We are told Ryan must stay in the ICU for at least another two to three days, since he must remain on the ventilator. He will be discharged to the medical floor for another two to three days of observation. So, best case scenario, he will be discharged no sooner than late on Tuesday 28th. More realistically Ryan is looking at sometime around the New Year.
Some positive news is the antibiotics he was previously on did a nice job a suppressing the infection. None has entered the blood stream and his white count is completely normal at 6.8K.
It is both tough for us to see our son like this and for our daughter, Kari, to spend another holiday bedside in a hospital. I wish her life didn’t need to be this way.