Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Dr.Hammesfahr's examination of Terri
September 12, 2002
Re: Terri Schiavo
I was asked to examine Terri Schiavo per the request of the Second District Court of Appeal. They requested that current information about her present medical condition be obtained. They also requested that an evaluation be performed to ascertain treatment options.
Ms Schiavo was in her usual state of good health until 2/25/90, when her husband reported that he was awakened from sleep approximately 6 Am by her falling. He reports that she was unresponsive.
Paramedics were called, and aggressive resuscitation was performed with 7 defibrillations en route.
In the Emergency Room, a possible diagnosis of heart attack was briefly entertained, but then dismissed after blood chemistries and serial EKG's did not show evidence of a heart attack.
Similarly, a pulmonary or lung cause of the disorder was ruled out in the Emergency Room after normal blood gases and Chest X-Rays were obtained. The possibility of toxic shock syndrome was also entertained. The diagnosis of the cause of her condition was unknown. Her admission laboratory studies showed low potassium level, markedly elevated glucose level, and a normal toxic screen without evidence of diet pills or amphetamines.
The abnormal potassium level and sugar level were found on admission to the Emergency Room and were successfully corrected by the hospital staff over the next several days. The patient had a difficult hospital course with the development of poorly controlled seizures and prolonged coma state requiring, for a time, ventilator support. However, the staff noted improvement, and it was recommended by several physicians that she be discharged to an intensive rehabilitation center.
She was eventually transferred to Mediplex in Bradenton for intensive rehabilitation. She was poorly responsive. However, after a brain stimulator was placed in 11/90, the staff started to report greater interactions of the patient with her environment, including intermittently apparently following commands, turning her head to voice, tracking visually, etc.