Darrell Raikes waved sleepily to his wife as they wheeled him down to the operating room for a routine knee replacement last May.
He woke up in the Critical Care Unit four weeks later.
Darrel had an adverse reaction to his anesthesia and began bleeding into his lungs post-operatively. Dr. Ashley Montgomery, Darrell's critical care physician, had to navigate tricky territory: the drugs that are standard care to prevent blood clots post-knee replacement would also contribute to Darrell's bleeding.
"We like to think that medicine is an exact science, but there often isn't a 'yes or no' answer to a patient's medical problems, particularly in an ICU situation where multiple organ systems are involved and the treatment for one problem is contraindicated for the patient's other problems," Montgomery said. "We talk to the patient, use the best data available and make an informed decision about how to best care for them."
Montgomery and her team in the UK HealthCare Intensive Care Unit were able to stabilize Darrell without compromising his knee replacement by inserting an inferior vena cava filter (IVC filter). This umbrella-like device catches circulating clots and prevents them from travelling to the lung. Darrell was discharged from the ICU on June 29... FULL STORY