Lamar Odom, Day 5

Even as Lamar Odom has awoken, said a few words, obeyed a few commands, been aware of family members at his bedside, he remains seriously ill and in a fragile state that can either get better or worse. The good news is that Odom had an EKG performed on his heart and his heart has apparently survived this ordeal with minimal to no damage. His blood pressure is in the normal range, another good sign for Odom in the short term.

Odom is considered to be “neurologically intact”. Normal sensation and strength in his muscles and reflexes are present and the nervous system is not impaired. However, he has not had brain scans post-trauma to determine if he has lost any cognitive functions from his loss of consciousness; that will come later. What is of critical concern to doctors right now are the state of his kidneys. They are in acute failure.

Odom’ s survival so far has been predicated by his emerging from his coma and sedation, and because he is hooked up to a dialysis machine.

Dialysis is the artificial intervention to remove water and waste from the body, what the kidney’s do on their own when they are healthy. Odom’s kidneys are not healthy. Acute kidney failure can be fatal. The toxins in the blood build up altering the chemical balance that a human body cannot survive as swelling infiltrates the tissues. But acute kidney failure is also reversible. It is Odom’s doctors biggest challenge right now to figure out if they can get his kidneys to work correctly on their own or if they are damaged beyond repair.

Doctors now believe that Odom suffered an ischemic stroke which is when a blood clot in the vessels prevents blood to the brain and is often life threatening. Odom was no exception. He lingered near death for three long days and then he woke up. Some will think it is nothing more than science. Others beleive this is all about God.

Even though Odom is no longer on a ventilator, and a rebreather mask is supplying him high volumes of oxygen, his body has to get stronger for the mask to be removed. If he has any kind of setback, the ventilator may be in use again.

photo via llananba