What should have been done:

  • Blood pressure (No we are not kidding. Rowan’s most recent blood pressure reading was 4 days prior)
  • Electrocardiogram (Rowan’s most recent electrocardiogram was on October 21st nearly two months before anesthetic induction)
  • Cardiac echocardiogram without sedation (Rowan slept in his stroller for an hour, every day at approx. 12:30. Every day, we walked down a 4 lane road and into a busy pre-school playground without him waking up)
  • Adding precautions to general anesthesia, if deemed absolutely necessary. Precautions could have included: anesthetic induction in the cath lab (rather than outpatient room) in case of cardiac arrest, insertion of an IV catheter before induction, locating an appropriate trach tube before induction.
  • High sensitivity troponin T and troponin I blood tests to see if there was any evidence of myocardial ischemia associated with preexisting damage to the cardiac muscles.
  • Nothing at all (though Rowan had a heart condition, he would have lived a longer life without any medical intervention.. and would have enjoyed the Christmas he was soo excited for)

About this photo: This photo was taken during Rowan’s most recent ECG on October 21st.  At his May visit, Rowan’s cardiologist noted that Rowan was uncooperative during his exam. We promptly bought a real stethoscope for his sister, played doctor at our home regularly, and Rowan quickly became very comfortable with exams from ourselves and others.