Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from INTENSIVECAREHOTLINE.COM, where we instantly improve the lives for Families of critically ill Patients in Intensive Care, so that you can make informed decisions, have peace of mind, real power, real control and so that you can influence decision making fast, even if you’re not a doctor or a nurse in Intensive Care!
In the last blog I talked about
You can check out the last blog by clicking on the link here.
In this week’s blog I want to talk about
When an Intensive Care Unit is failing one of their families! A real life case study!
Over the last few weeks I have been working closely with a client family who has been in a really difficult situation.
Their family member had been admitted to Intensive Care about five weeks ago with abdominal sepsis.
Now, my client’s family member had been pretty sick from the very start and the chances of survival for my client’s family member had been tending towards zero according to the Intensive Care team!
In fact the Intensive Care team had called my Client’s family member “dead” in front of the Patient and my Client family. The Intensive Care team was inappropriately saying things like “he’s dead” and “he’s dying” in front of the Patient and my client family. Unbelievable!
This is obviously highly, highly inappropriate and this wasn’t the only occasion where the Intensive Care team was failing my Client family…
Unfortunately this is not the first time that one of my clients is telling me about the Intensive Care team saying inappropriate things in front of a critically ill Patient and their family.
The good news in this has been that five weeks after the Intensive Care team was inappropriately calling out to the Patient and their family “he’s dead” and “he’s dying”, my client’s family member is still alive and is still battling a nasty critical illness with an uncertain outcome and an uncertain future.
Nevertheless has this family member of my client still defied the odds that were so badly stacked against him from the start.
My client and their family had been given really bad news from the start and like so many of my other clients, they all felt like they were put under unduly pressure to “pull the plug” and to “stop treatment”, because it wouldn’t be “in the best interest” of their critically ill loved one.
I hear the same old story over and over again…
The time when families of critically ill Patients in Intensive Care are seeking out my advice, expertise and service is usually when they are sick of the negativity and when they are sick of the pressure from the Intensive Care team…
- The Difference Between “Real” And “Perceived” End Of Life Situations When Your Loved One Is Critically Ill In Intensive Care!
They are usually disgusted by the Intensive Care team’s attitude and all they want is a fair go and a fair chance to save their critically ill loved one’s life!
That’s not too much to ask is it? Not in a first world country anyway…
After I re-educated my client about the pressure Intensive Care Units are facing in terms of limited resources, financial pressure, bed management and staff pressures etc… it dawned on them that “what you see is not what you get in Intensive Care!”
Surely, my client’s family member was and still is on a fair amount of life support, however that’s what Intensive Care Units are there for, to save critically ill Patients’ lives.
The emotional experience for families in Intensive Care!
Intensive Care Units also have a duty of care towards families not only towards their Patients.
And this is where many Intensive Care Units fall short. They often only look at the Patient, their diagnosis, their prognosis, their care and their treatment.
They forget about the emotional experience that families in Intensive Care are going through!
They forget the roller coaster that families in Intensive Care are on when one of their family members is facing one of their biggest challenges in their entire lifetime.
They also often forget how families react when they are in “real” or “perceived” “life or death” situations.
Telling a family in front of their critically ill loved one “he’s dead” or “he’s dying” is not going to help to build bridges and build trust in an already stressful situation…
In the meantime, since the client has hired my services we have ensured that my client’s family member is getting best and standard treatment, irrespective of the Intensive Care team’s view that it might be “in the best interest” of my client’s family member to “withdraw treatment”.
- THE 5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW IF THE MEDICAL TEAM IN INTENSIVE CARE WANTS TO “LIMIT TREATMENT“, WANTS TO “WITHDRAW TREATMENT“, “WITHDRAW LIFE SUPPORT” OR WANTS TO ISSUE A “DNR” (DO NOT RESUSCITATE) OR “NFR” (NOT FOR RESUSCITATION) ORDER FOR YOUR CRITICALLY ILL LOVED ONE!
And low and behold, my client’s family member is still alive, battling this nasty critical illness.
But irrespective of the Intensive Care team now doing what they are supposed to be doing and by them finally having stopped to inappropriately talking about “death” and “he’s dead” in front of my client’s family member and in front of my client, they are still not grasping the fragile emotional state my client’s family is in.
To make the situation worse and just to remind my client family of the Intensive Care team’s “perceived power” and their “perceived authority” that they get from 99% of the families of critically ill Patients in Intensive Care who don’t make informed decisions, who don’t get peace of mind, control, power and influence… they have tried to “lock out” my client’s family from Intensive Care by inappropriately telling them that “they are busy” and that “they are doing stuff”, keeping them waiting for up to 2 hours at a time before they can see their loved one in ICU…
This is highly inappropriate in this day and age, especially in light of the fact that the Intensive Care team is not getting tired to mention that they think their loved one has a low chance of survival.
If they really think my client’s family member has a low chance of survival, why are they not more lenient with their already non-family friendly “rules”?
Normally, if Patients are really approaching their end of life, visiting times as well as the number of visitors at the bedside at one time are usually unlimited or at least as close to the family’s wishes as they can be.
This particular Intensive Care Unit doesn’t get it and they are at least 20-30 years behind. Their conduct towards the family is archaic at the best of times and pre 1950’s!
- WHAT THE DOCTORS AND THE NURSES BEHAVIOUR IN INTENSIVE CARE IS TELLING YOU ABOUT THE CULTURE IN A UNIT!
The Intensive Care team has been making it all about them, their “expertise” their “seniority” and they are making it all about “their visiting policies and procedures”…
To make matters worse, they are also only giving one family member information over the phone, telling the rest of the family that they need to enquire to the Next of Kin or Medical power of attorney. It means that some close family members including the Patient’s own children can’t get information over the phone even though the Patient has now been in ICU for five weeks and all the main parties are known to the Intensive Care team.
In case I haven’t said it before, the Intensive Care team doesn’t get it. The emotional trauma for my client family is enormous and by the Intensive Care team trying to make life difficult for them as much as they can is just not what any family needs in this situation.
It’s also not what a Patient needs. Patients can feel the subtleties, the tension and the friction… and it’s not conducive on their way to recovery and it’s also not conducive if they are really approaching their end of life…
The good news is that I was at least able to make sure that their loved one is getting ongoing and best treatment irrespective of the pressure the Intensive Care team initially put on the family to agree to a “withdrawal of treatment”.
My client’s family has made very clear that my client’s family member would want to live and would also want to fight in case they were ever suffering a critical illness.
That’s good and helpful to know, because Intensive Care teams need to pay close attention to Patients and their family’s wishes.
Unfortunately, they often only pay close attention to their financial budget, to their limited view about “quality of life”, to their bed management issues and also to their often limited staffing resources.
In essence, Intensive Care teams are often only paying attention to their agenda, which is a “hidden agenda” if you don’t understand Intensive Care (yet)!
As I have said many times here before, the positioning of your critically ill loved one’s diagnosis and prognosis, as well as the care and the treatment are often a result of what’s happening “BEHIND THE SCENES” in Intensive Care.
- THE 10 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ARE HAPPENING BEHIND THE SCENES IN INTENSIVE CARE THAT HOLD YOU BACK FROM HAVING PEACE OF MIND, CONTROL, POWER AND INFLUENCE, WHILST YOUR LOVED ONE IS CRITICALLY ILL IN INTENSIVE CARE!
Having worked in Intensive Care for nearly 20 years, where I literally worked with thousands of critically ill Patients and their families, I know it inside out because I have seen it over and over again.
I now also hear it over and over again in my 1:1 phone/Skype/email counselling and consulting practice here at INETNSIVECAREHOTLINE.COM and I hear it from families first hand…
And I have known seen and managed it over the more than 5 years when I was a Nurse Unit Manager in Intensive Care.
My job is to make sure that families in Intensive Care have a voice and my job is to make sure they are getting heard…
My purpose is to make sure that they can make informed decisions, get peace of mind, control, power and influence in the shortest possible timeframe!
No matter where you’re at in your journey through Intensive Care, make sure you and your family protect your critically ill loved one as much as you can!
How can you become the best advocate for your critically ill loved one, make informed decisions, get PEACE OF MIND, control, power and influence quickly, whilst your loved one is critically ill in Intensive Care?
You get to that all important feeling of making informed decisions, get PEACE OF MIND, CONTROL, POWER AND INFLUENCE when you download your FREE “INSTANT IMPACT” report NOW by entering your email below!
In Your FREE “INSTANT IMPACT” report you’ll learn quickly how to make informed decisions, get PEACE OF MIND, real power and real control and how you can influence decision making fast, whilst your loved one is critically ill in Intensive Care! Your FREE “INSTANT IMPACT” Report gives you in-depth insight that you must know whilst your loved one is critically ill or is even dying in Intensive Care! Sign up and download your FREE “INSTANT IMPACT” REPORT now by entering your email below!
In your FREE “INSTANT IMPACT” REPORT you’ll learn how to speak the “secret” Intensive Care language so that the doctors and the nurses know straight away that you are an insider and that you know and understand what’s really happening in Intensive Care!
In your FREE report you’ll also discover
- How to ask the doctors and the nurses the right questions
- Discover the many competing interests in Intensive Care and how your critically ill loved one’s treatment may depend on those competing interests
- How to eliminate fear, frustration, stress, struggle and vulnerability even if your loved one is dying
- 5 mind blowing tips& strategies helping you to get on the right path to making informed decisions, get PEACE OF MIND, control, power and influence in your situation
- You’ll get real world examples that you can easily adapt to your and your critically ill loved one’s situation
- How to stop being intimidated by the Intensive Care team and how you will be seen as equals
- You’ll get crucial ‘behind the scenes’ insight so that you know and understand what is really happening in Intensive Care
- How you need to manage doctors and nurses in Intensive Care (it’s not what you think)
Thank you for tuning into this week’s BLOG and I’ll see you again in another update next week!
Or you can call us! Find phone numbers on our contact tab.
Also check out our Ebook section where you get more Ebooks, Videos and Audio recordings and where you can also get 1:1 counselling with me via Skype or over the phone and via email by clicking on the email and phone counselling tabs on the top of the website!
This is Patrik Hutzel from INTENSIVECAREHOTLINE.COM and I’ll see you again next week with another update!