It was not the anesthesia.
Madison awoke up from her nap, but remained very lethargic. She started to get less and less responsive, so I asked a nurse to look her over. She agreed there was cause for concern and paged neurosurgery. They were in OR working on another case, but thought it was appropriate to order an urgent CT scan. On the way down to the CT scan, Madison started to have a seizure.
They did the CT scan while the nurse paged neurosurgery again to advise them of the situation. Luckily radiology is next door to the ER, so we just quickly swung across the hall at neurosurgery’s recommendation. They would meet us there, but the ER doctors could treat the seizure in the meantime.
For about 20 minutes, Madison was Ms. Popular. At one point, I counted 15 people in our ER bay. Eventually, the medications they gave her took over and she slowly came out of it. The neurosurgery doctor (at my prompting) rated her seizure as a 6 on a scale of 1 to 10. The attack was mild, but it took her a long time to come out of it.
Seizures are a known risk of neurosurgery and can happen to any patient. In more major surgeries, they often treat for seizure ahead of time given the elevated risk. In Madison’s case, her frequent surgeries and prior history of seizure made this more likely to happen at some point. Going forward, I’d expect they will treat her for seizure ahead of time given her risks. Some good news, her CT scan looks “great”, and the catheter they wanted to fix appears fixed.
While they feel a second seizure is highly unlikely, we are in the pediatric intensive care unit (the infamous PICU of prior posts) so they can keep a closer eye on her for 24 hours. After that, they will probably move us back up to the regular recovery rooms for an other day or so. She’ll probably need to go back on her anti-seizure medication for at least 4-6 weeks, but I’m sure neurology will have an opinion tomorrow.
In the meantime, she is very groggy, but chatty. I’ve been able to get her to laugh and smile, which is very encouraging.
I’ll post more as I learn more.