Aaron continues to improve. Dr. Bajaj, who will take a well earned Memorial Day holiday tomorrow, confirms that Aaron’s heart is working more effectively, his lungs are less leaky, his kidneys are working better, and he is regaining acid/alkaline balance on his own. These are all definite signs of improvement.
Aaron is given a brief holiday from the Paralyzer to see how he responds. He quickly demonstrates that he is still not ready to set the pace; his blood oxygen drops as he tries to over-breathe the Ventilator, so he is paralyzed again into submission.
Collateral damage from the slaughter of the mutants has seriously compromised the ability of Aaron’s blood to staunch it’s flow though leaky and damaged blood vessel walls. The mutants are dead, yet they mount a post-mortem attack on still another flank. Their attack is met with a plastic IV bag filled with a viscous, milky-white fluid.
Kim, his night nurse, explains as yet another bag of platelets she is transfusing disappears quickly into Aaron, that platelets, whose job in life is to clot, must be injected rapidly to keep them from clotting on the way into the vein.
Once in, the platelets keep his blood inside the vessels, preventing the vital flow from leaking out into lifeless and impotent puddles.
Ventilator settings of 60% oxygen, 35 breaths/minute, 30% duty cycle square pressure pulses and PEEP of 9 are sufficient to maintain 99% blood oxygen saturation.
Aaron’s 5 quarts of blood continue to flow through the Urinator. Every hour, his blood completes the round trip twice, and every hour, another cup of pale yellow urine drips into the Urinator’s polyethylene bladder; about half a cup more than is going into Aaron from the many life-giving bags constantly being hung on the IV rack.
A broad spectrum of antibiotics keeps infection at bay. The pneumonia is under control…there has been no fever.
Aaron is getting better.