Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com with another quick tip for families in intensive care and in LTAC.
So many families in intensive care come to us and they ask, is intensive care at home a genuine alternative to LTAC or to a long-term stay in intensive care and the short version is yes, but let me explain first.
When a patient is in intensive care and he’s on a ventilator with a breathing tube or endotracheal tube, and is in an induced coma and they can’t come off the ventilator for whatever reason and that reason often includes complacency of the intensive care unit, but I can come to that later.
And when a patient can’t come off the ventilator and the breathing tube, they often need a tracheostomy to wean them off the ventilator with more time, it basically buys patients more time to come off the ventilator.
However, there is certainly a caveat to that, and I have done numerous videos and blogs about that, how to wean a patient off the ventilator and the breathing tube in the first place to avoid the tracheostomy. But let’s just say a tracheostomy is unavoidable so then you’ve got to look at, okay, what are the best next steps?
Now ICUs often want to send out tracheostomy patients to an LTAC or long-term acute care facility and that’s quite frankly a disaster. Why is it a disaster? Because a ventilated and tracheostomy patient needs intensive care nurses, needs intensive care doctors, needs respiratory therapists in the United States at least. In LTAC, none of that is available.
So LTACs are designed to save money. They’re not designed for clinical relevancy. Going to LTAC is almost all of the time clinically irrelevant because basically, for lack of a better term, dumps ventilated patients in LTAC without looking at clinical need.
And again, for somebody that’s ventilated with a tracheostomy, you need to have intensive care nurses, intensive care doctors, et cetera. To keep clients safe, to keep patients safe and to wean them off the ventilator. LTACs have terrible success rates to wean patients off the ventilator. So why is it LTAC then, in the first place, it’s there to save money and empty ICU beds fast.
So, then coming back to intensive care at home. Is intensive care at home a genuine alternative to LTACs? Absolutely yes, because intensive care at home provides intensive care nurses for patients 24 hours a day at home. So that a genuine alternative to a long term stay in intensive care can be achieved and patients can go home from intensive care straight away.
So that’s my quick tip for today. Go and check out intensivecareathome.com for more information about the service and also, I should say an intensive care bed costs around five to $6,000 per bed day whereas intensive care at home costs around 50% of that.
So therefore health funding agencies have an interest in getting patients out of ICU and to intensive care at home. So it’s a win-win situation for everyone and you and your loved one have an improved quality of life by being at home. It’s a no brainer.
So go and check out intensivecareathome.com for more information.
This is Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com and I’ll talk to you in a few days.