Maryland's Health Matters - UMMS - Spring 2013 - (Page 1)
After an infection leaves
her battling for survival, a
double lung transplant at UMMC
helps new mom return home
pring is often seen as a time for new
beginnings, and for 23-year-old Brittany
Davenport of Baltimore County, this rings
true. One year ago, Davenport was happily
adjusting to her new role as mother of two,
3-year-old Destiny and 6-week-old Breh.
Nothing could have prepared her for the
health scare that would have her spend months in the
hospital, ﬁghting for her life.
While recovering at home, Davenport noticed
that her C-section incision was not healing properly;
even after an examination in the ER, she believed
something wasn’t right. She also began to have
trouble breathing and could walk only a few steps on
her own. It was clear that something was wrong.
On March 6, 2012, Davenport walked
herself into the Emergency Department at
University of Maryland Medical Center
(UMMC), where she was diagnosed with
acute respiratory distress syndrome and
was immediately admitted to the hospital.
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Acute respiratory distress syndrome, or
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ARDS, happens when the lungs ﬁll with
ﬂuid and collapse, preventing oxygen from reaching other vital organs. Forty percent of people who
contract ARDS do not survive, according to Aldo
Iacono, MD, professor of medicine at the University
of Maryland School of Medicine and medical director of UMMC’s lung transplant program. Physicians
at UMMC believe that Brittany developed ARDS
through an infection in her C-section incision.
A NEW WAY OF ‘BREATHING’
Davenport’s condition quickly deteriorated as her
lungs scarred and became unable to oxygenate her
blood properly. She was put on an ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machine, a
temporary form of life support that “breathes” for
the patient by taking blood from the heart, running
it through a machine that oxygenates and removes
carbon dioxide from the blood, and returning it to
the body. The temporary form of life support allows
time for a patient’s failing lungs to heal or for surgery to be performed.
Expertise in using advanced technologies like
ECMO is what sets the lung transplant program at
the University of Maryland Medical Center apart
from other hospitals. The team is adept at ﬁnding
solutions to help patients bridge to transplant or give
the lungs time to heal on their own. The Cardiac
Surgery Intensive Care Unit was especially skilled
at staying nimble and devising new plans to treat
Davenport as her health deteriorated.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maryland's Health Matters - UMMS - Spring 2013
Maryland's Health Matters - UMMS - Spring 2013