Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam
Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam

Friday, February 20, 2004

Cycle 2, Day +8: A Reaction to Transfusion

Today was supposed to be a short day at the hospital. We arrived, had Steven's blood drawn, had lunch, then went to his clinic to get the results. The results indicated that Steven needed a platelet transfusion, no worries, he had two platelet transfusions last cycle.

Like with all blood products, once they are ordered, it takes 1-3 hours for them to show up, so Steven went to school while we were waiting for the platelets to arrive. We were paged when they arrived, and we headed up to the medicine room.

They started with Steven's daily GCSF, which takes half an hour, then they gave him a half hour infusion of benadryl as preparation for receiving platelets.

The platelets were infused over about an hour. During the last 10 minutes of infusion, Steven began coughing gently and sporadically. At the end of infusion, they came in, unhooked his line from the IV, and said we could go home. Steven motioned to me and whispered in my ear that I should listen to him breathe.

Steven's breathing sounded bubbly and wheezy. Previous to this he had been doing perfectly, good energy, good appetite. The nurse called the doctor, who came in and said that he was definitely wheezing and asked if he'd seemed like he'd been coming down with something, or if he had ever had a reaction to platelets before.

Negative to both questions. Steven has had asthma in the past and recurrent pneumonias, but since we've been in Memphis, he's been doing great with respect to allergies, we haven't given him a breathing treatment even once.

So, they gave him a breathing treatment with a nebulizer, after which he was much improved. Then epinephrine, then they asked us to remain for another four hours for observation, then another breathing treatment, then they sent us home with albuterol and steroids.

Right now, he's doing great, working on the long division problem his dad made for him, multiplying two 5-digit numbers. We didn't get home until 11:00 pm, we're due back tomorrow morning at 10:00 am for hopefully just GCSF. He's also got a loose tooth, normally no concern but with no white cells we're a little worried.

Still, things are looking good for seeing the Komodo dragons eat on Sunday. So far. One day at a time...

- Kathleen

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