A week ago, my 44 year old brother was admitted to the hospital with Strain Resistant Bacterial Pneumonia. He has been on life support since then. Today, he was taken in for a tracheotomy because the tube down his throat was causing him to bleed out his mouth. He is still unconcious and heavily sedated. The doctor says it is a miracle he is alive. My concern now, since he is also on life support for kidneys, bowels, etc is that until today, his urine output was a normal yellow color, but today it is a brownish color. I am wondering what is causing this, but my fear is that it is beginnings of kidney failure. I cannot find anywhere online anything about how the kidneys react while on life support and am truly concerned that it is renal failure. Any input would be helpful.
The brownish urine color you describe could be a sign of dehydration resulting in very concentrated urine, blood in the urine, liver failure or kidney failure. How “the kidneys react while on life support” is often dependent upon the presence or absence of bacteria in the blood stream, the presence or absence of shock and overall body fluid balance. Your brother’s doctors should be able to examine his blood and urine and provide an educated opinion on the cause of the change in urine color. You and your family members should request a meeting with your brother’s primary doctor to explore these and other questions about prognosis with him/her.
You should also ask his doctors if they have determined the specific bacteria causing his pneumonia and the pattern of antibiotic resistance of that bacterium. His situation, as described by you, is dire and if his doctors have not requested consultation with an infectious disease specialist, they should consider it.
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