Thursday, January 6, 2011


A couple weeks back, I was having a conversation with someone who follows the blog.  She asked a few questions that made me realize that I've never really given a full description about some of Samuel's know, the extra things we have or do to keep him healthy.  So here it is.  A full description of each item.  Those of you in the medical profession may want to skip this post entirely....

This is our oxygen concentrator.  It does exactly what it sounds takes the oxygen from the air, concentrates it, and then sends it through a tube into Samuel's nose.  The black button on the top is the power button.  The piece in the middle has a knob at the top that allows us to change the amount of oxygen Samuel gets. A bubble in the center piece tells us what the flow is set at.  The concentrator makes a whirring/humming sound that's fairly loud.  It's great white noise for sleeping.

This is a Pulse Ox Monitor (pulse oximeter).  It measures the oxygen saturation of Samuel's blood.  It alarms if his oxygen saturation (shown by the big number on the left) drops below 94.  When it alarms, the screen lights up and it "sings" a little tune.  The number to the right is Samuel's heartrate.  When he is sleeping it's usually around 100, when he's resting and happy it's about 123, when he's crying really hard its about 170.  The button in the top right is a silence button (we hit that one a lot) the button in the bottom left corner is the power button.  If he is sating below 93 (which he often does when he is sleeping) then we put the oxygen on him.

The pulse ox probe is wrapped around Samuel's foot.  It does the actual reading of his oxygen saturation.  The part that wraps around is sticky to help it stay in place....but after a few times of pulling the probe off and on, the sticky is gone.  We have to rotate which foot we use because the light burns his skin if left too long. 

This is a Posey.  It is a thin strip of foam and material that we use to wrap around the probe.  It keeps the probe in place on his foot and helps it to read his oxygen level better.  This one is a little worse for wear.

This is a nasal cannula (pronounced CAN-U-LA.)  It is the part of the oxygen tubing that goes into Samuel's nose (obviously a prong for each nostril.) 

 The nurses at ACH called this a cannula dot.  I've recently learned that the correct name for them is Tender Grips.  They hold the cannula to his face so that when he moves it doesn't come out of his nose.  You pull the white tab out, and under the clear plastic, the cannula dot is sticky.  The cannula tube is put under the clear plastic and it holds it there.  Samuel wears these all the time even though he is off the oxygen during the day.  They are very sticky and tend to irritate his face if taken off and on.

Here is our supply of oxygen tanks.  We don't use them unless we are traveling (the concentrator is too heavy to pack.)  We have little tanks for car rides and short trips, and big tanks for overnight stays.  The tanks have to have a regulator (see the next item) to work.

The regulator fits onto the thin top piece of the oxygen tank.  You screw the regulator on, then use a 'key' to open the oxygen tank.  The regulator regulates how much oxygen flow comes out of the tank into the tubing.  There is a dial to the left that shows what the flow is.  The dial on the front shows how much oxygen is left in the tank.

For every 4 ounces of formula that I make, I add 1 packet of Simply Thick.  We use Simply Thick for several reasons.  Most importantly, we use it because Samuel's left vocal cord is damaged.  I never knew that vocal cords were crucial to swallowing until Samuel had this issue.  The thickener allows Samuel to control the liquid better and thus reduces the chances of it 'going down the wrong pipe' (known as aspirating.)  We also use it to help with reflux....the thicker it is, the less likely it will make a return visit.

Samuel takes Nasacort to help with his perpetual nasal congestion.  I think they had hoped that it would get him off the oxygen entirely.  I can't say that it's made much of a difference but we keep it up anyway.

This is Ventolin - a form of albuterol (for you preemie-parents and medical professionals out there.)  We use this for Samuel any time he sounds a bit wheezy...which isn't all that often.  After visiting the pulmonologist the other day, we will soon be using another inhaler 2x a day....the same inhaler that Samuel took in the NICU.  It's called Flovent. 

Those moms out there who breastfeed are probably familiar with this multi-vitamin called Poly-Vi-Sol.  Apparently preemies are prone to anemia the first six months of we give him 1ml a day in his bottle.

This is a generic form of Miralax.  We give Samuel a 1/4 tsp every other day in his bottle.

And this, my friends, is the outrageously expensive Prevacid.  We crush half a pill and give it to him every 12 hours.  It dissolves in his mouth and tastes like strawberries.

WHEW! I think that covers just about everything. These are all the things that I pray will fall away with time. (Sooner better than later of course.) Can you imagine how hard it would be to get a babysitter for him? haha.

1 comment:

  1. I wanted you to know that Samuel's accessories actually came in handy for us yesterday. Caleb was really sick. What started as a cold ended up as a pretty painful ear infection coupled with pink eye. When we were at the doctor's office they wanted to put a pulse ox probe on him to get a reading, but he freaked out when he saw it. All I had to do was remind him that baby Samuel has one just like it, and everything was ok! I know that's really trivial, but I thought it might make you smile. Have a great day!