Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com with another quick tip for families in intensive care.
So this week I’ve been talking to a client who has their 85-year old mother in LTAC or long-term acute care with ventilation and tracheostomy after a prolonged pneumonia in ICU. So the client’s mother has been in the long-term acute care facility since June, 2020 and the time of this recording is October, 2020.
So we’re talking about four months nearly. He now realizes that LTAC, isn’t the right approach for his 85- year old mother on a ventilator with the tracheostomy as well as on dialysis after kidney failure. And he’s wondering, can he take his mother home with intensive care at home? And the short answer is absolutely yes, his mother can go home with intensive care at home. And that is a much better solution than the LTAC.
Now, if you’ve done any research yourself, and if you are in a similar situation with your loved one, you would know by now that going to LTAC is a disaster. It’s almost like a death sentence, and it’s certainly a recipe for not getting off the ventilator at all.
So what happens is when someone is having a tracheostomy, especially in the United States, they’re often being sent to LTAC or long-term acute care, and this is not based on clinical necessities or clinical realities. It’s based simply on saving money and freeing up in demand ICU beds.
So if this client had come to us in June, we would have told the client not to agree to a transfer to LTAC because it’s simply a disaster and that’s what it turned out for his mother as well. So his approach would have been, yes, do the tracheostomy if she can’t come off the ventilator, but then let her wean off the ventilator in ICU or go home with intensive care at home, straight away, because LTACs are simply not designed to wean people off ventilation.
They don’t have the skills, the know-how, the knowledge or the skilled staff that is required to make it happen. Again, it’s simply designed to save money for health insurances, but not designed to wean people off ventilation.
So the approach would always be, do a tracheostomy if people can’t come off the ventilator and let them stay in ICU, because that’s where the know-how, the skills and the expertise is to take people off ventilation and tracheostomy or sent them home with a service like intensive care at home, which is actually much more cost-effective compared to an ICU bed.
But nowhere near as cheap, like LTAC, again LTAC is super cheap. This is why they don’t get results because they can’t hire the expertise that is needed to get people off ventilation. And besides there is no quality of life for patients and their families in LTAC, but there is quality of life at home with 24 hour nursing care such as intensive care at home.
So that is my quick tip for today.
Like this video, comment down below what questions and comments that you have, subscribe to my YouTube channel. And if you have a loved one in intensive care, call us on one of the numbers on the top of our website, intensivecarehotline.com and thank you for watching.
This is Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com and I’ll talk to you in a few days.