Lung function testing is really important for older kids and adults to measure, well, lung function. It's not usually used for infants but that's why we are having it done: as part of a study to see which data they can use from it and to see if they can incorporate lung function testing as standard care for babies and toddlers. It also ties in with CT scans and bronchoscopy and they use the results from both procedures to look at respiratory health. The researchers follow each patient for several years and will use all the collected data to see if they can use the results of these early tests to predict long-term health outcomes.
Since we have been through this procedure before, it was a lot easier since I knew what to expect. We arrived at PMH at 9am down in the respiratory department (my aunt and Felix went to play in the Megazone...Felix loves that place!). We recorded weight and length (he has grown!) and filled out a bit of paperwork, went over Victor's medications, etc. The doctor in charge of proceedings today went over everything with me again just to make sure everything was clear and then we got started.
To have the tests done, Victor had to be sedated with chloral hydrate. It's an oral medication which I administered, and Victor hated it. It must taste really awful because he screamed hysterically when I gave it to him. He calmed down and I rocked him to sleep. It didn't take long before he was sleeping peacefully. We then walked over to the procedure room and I placed him on a little table. There was a pulse oximeter attached to his toe which gave a constant reading of his oxygen levels and pulse so we could easily see that he was doing ok the whole time.
The tests involved having him breathe a tracer gas to see how quickly his lungs could expel it and using sound waves to measure his lungs and things like that. Everything was non-invasive. The reason he had to be asleep is because it would be impossible to get a baby to cooperate! We can't exactly ask him to hold his breath or blow into a mouthpiece. He wore a little inflatable jacket and had a mask on so the researcher and doctor could control his breathing when they needed to. It took probably an hour all up and honestly was all pretty boring. He slept through the entire thing so the researcher and doctor got all the tests done and got all the information they needed, which was great.
|Tests all completed, now we're just waiting for him to wake up!|
He ate a big chocolate muffin in the hospital café, and then we went home where he had lunch and a good nap. He played happily for the rest of the afternoon with Felix. Playing outside is his new favourite thing. He starts out in the cubby house, which has astroturf under it so it's nice and soft and clean for him, and he plays with the plastic food in there and looks out the window. Then he inevitably crawls onto the brick paving and 'runs' to the grass, passing through the garden bed on the way...and ends up completely filthy. Black knees and the tops of his feet are a feature now. It will be a lot easier for him when he starts walking!
|Still a bit wobbly but alert and happy after the tests are over. He's just ripped the pulse oximeter off his foot!|