Basically, all they have are theories. Unfortunately, there was no clear cut reason that was found as to why Travis arrested. Everything seemed to be going so well. The surgeon spoke and told us that during rounds that morning (the morning he arrested) Travis was on course for extubation and everything looked good. After rounds, he went to surgery and that afternoon he was pulled out of surgery and notified that Travis was coding. After discussing everything and reviewing the reports, there is speculation that the timing of the extubation was unfavorable. The previous day during Travis' 10 hour surgery he was having trouble oxygenating and usually they wait a bit longer to remove the breathing tube in such cases.
We discussed several unsettling concerns we had with his care and what went on that day. He addressed them honestly and sincerely. He was taking notes on specific things that we brought up and we can only hope that some good will come of our comments/concerns. Dr. Lamberti looked visibly upset during this meeting and he just kept telling us that the hard part is that they make life and death decisions every day. He said that most of the time, their "calls" are good....sometimes, there are judgement calls that don't pan out. The decision to extubate that day was a dicey one. He is still quite angry about this whole thing and he again said that if this happened more often he wouldn't be in this field. He said that everyone involved with Travis' care that day would like to take it back. All I could do when I heard that was hang my head and cry. We ALL wish we could take that day back.
It is soooo painful to know that human error could have caused Travis' death. Our initial reaction was one of anger. Honestly though...I feel in my heart that everyone was making the best decisions that they could at that time. The part that is so troublesome is that I don't think that ICU docs (who make the calls on meds/extubating/etc.) had the big picture that day. Lamberti did...and he was in surgery.
One interesting thing that Lamberti said was that of all the families he has dealt with (some 7000) and especially parents like us who are uber involved....he said that we handled the events of that day with a lot of grace. He recalled my conversation with him about organ donation and my dad being an organ recipient. He mentioned that he was just taken aback at how well we handled such a horrible situation. We tried to adequately thank him but just ended up hugging him and fumbling for words. We still and will always have the upmost respect for Dr. Lamberti...he gave our son life and, as I've said before, gave us 16 wonderful months with our sweet boy.
We don't feel like we should share everything from that meeting but just know that the bottom line is that Travis' death seems to have been from a combination of bad judgement calls that day. How are we to find any closure in that? I think we are feeling worse now then before. We are left with MORE what if's and a lot of guilt.