SURGEONS UPDATE STATUS OF FIRST
No evidence of additional stroke, tracheotomy performed to help
(LOUISVILLE) - Dr. Laman Gray and
Dr. Rob Dowling, the University of Louisville surgeons who implanted
the world's first totally implantable replacement heart in Robert
Tools at Jewish Hospital on July 2, announced today that Mr. Tools
received a tracheotomy to help him breathe.
According to Dr. Lynn Simon, Mr. Tools' neurologist,
"strokes frequently cause problems with swallowing, which causes
a build-up of secretions and leads to problems with airway management."
Dr. Simon said bleeding and swelling were also detected
in a follow-up CT scan. The bleeding and swelling follow the normal
progression of a stroke. "There was some hemorrhage into the
original stroke, but there was no evidence of a new stroke,"
Dr. Simon said. "The small amount of hemorrhage was not unexpected
with the kind of stroke that Mr. Tools had. I did not feel that
there was a significant clinical change as a result of this development."
Dr. Gray added, "I feel his prognosis is guarded
and it is too premature to make any speculation. However, Mr. Tools
did not have an additional stroke. The bleeding and swelling he
experienced is not uncommon after a stroke."
The tracheotomy procedure involves cutting a hole
in the throat so that ventilator tubes can be inserted directly
into the throat. The procedure allows physicians to remove the ventilator
from Mr. Tools' mouth to help make him more comfortable.
Mr. Tools experienced a stroke on Sunday afternoon,
November 11. Following the stroke, Mr. Tools was returned to ventilator
support in response to some respiratory distress Tuesday evening.
Mr. Tools' family members are grateful for the prayers
and good wishes they have received. Family members ask for continued
prayers for his recovery.
Mr. Tools' condition will continue to be evaluated
clinically through CT scans and other medical procedures. Significant
changes in his condition will be reported on the web site, www.heartpioneers.org.
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