Pink Ribbons Project
Pink Ribbons Project hosted an "Annual Wreath Making Party" for their volunteers, staff and board members to make wreaths for one of their beneficiaries to give out to their patients. UTMB was their chosen benefactor this year! Pink Ribbons project participants delivered 80 wreaths to Victory Lakes so that the mammography techs could give them to patients on the mobile unit before the Christmas holiday.
Christmas Came Early:
Celebrating Life and the Adult ECMO Program
By Debbie Barrera, RNC-NIC; Yolanda Leyva, RNC-NIC;
Vincent Valentine, MD; and Josette Armendariz, CCRN
This Christmas had special meaning for the Bright family. Michael Bright received a special gift (relief from progressive breathlessness) when on December 17, 2012 he received new inspiration via Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), a procedure during which blood oxygenation and cardiac function are performed by a mechanical pump outside the body. Three days later, he received a new lung.
Bright has been cared for by the lung transplantation team at UTMB's Texas Transplant Center
since he underwent a single lung transplantation in 2011 for respiratory failure related to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. He resumed all activities of daily living, an aggressive exercise regimen and his full-time job. As time passed, his new lung began to fail and it became increasingly difficult for him to function in his daily activities.
Advances in ECMO therapy made it possible for Bright to carry out some normal activities of his daily routine immediately after having the procedure. He held conversations with the staff, used his iPad, visited with his family, sat up in a chair, stood up, ate a hamburger and breathed easily. Gone were the vasopressors, endotracheal tube, ventilator, frequent blood gases and blood transfusions.
With acceptance by our experts and key innovations, ECMO has come of age at UTMB. Among the recent advances in ECMO technology, adult size double lumen cannulas placed under fluoroscopy by percutaneous insertion in a single stick minimize patient discomfort. Newer ECMO pumps with less surface area and heparin bonding cause less clotting, are easier on blood cells, and are more compact for patient mobility and exercise. Suddenly, elective ECMO as a bridge to transplant is not as labor intensive as it once was in days gone by.
Bright and his wife Sherry are full of joy, happiness and amazement on how well ECMO and the transplant went. Mrs. Bright commented on how quickly her husband recovered this time. What great news this is for us! We told Bright how very proud we are of him and how well he has done; to which he replied, “Well, I’m very proud of all of you!” Although Bright and his family remained at UTMB through Christmas, they were excited to receive such gifts and did not mind celebrating Christmas with us! We have a Bright reason to celebrate this special joyful season at UTMB.
UTMB Holiday Photo Gallery