Madison had a cranial ultrasound and the test revealed she has had bleeding in her brain. Bleeding in the brain is a fairly large risk for preemies. Technically it is called a Grade 3 intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH). What is means is that she had bleeding that filled the ventricles (the open spaces) in her brain causing them to swell. At this point it is unlikely that it will progress to Grade 4 (bleeding in the brain itself), but there is always that risk. This can go two ways. One way is that it resolves itself as the body absorbs the liquid and cervical spinal fluid drains from the ventricles normally. If that does not happen on its own (50% of the time), intervention will be required. In most cases a shunt (like a very small tube) is inserted into the ventricle and the fluid is allowed to drain. In approximately 1/3 of intervention cases, a permanent shunt will be required which will stay in place for life. Madison‘s infection combined with the bleeding means she is a high risk of delayed or disabled development at some point in life, ranging from being the last to walk of the three to potential major issues. We won’t know until we see them.
Right now we are focused on the next test results and letting what happens in the future happen then. Her last blood culture was negative which is good news that her infection is resolving. They will look at the culture again tomorrow. Also tomorrow, they will try again for a lumbar puncture to test for meningitis. If they can’t get any fluid, they’ll treat her for it anyway.
We appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers so far and ask you to pull extra hard for Madison.