Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com with another quick tip for families in intensive care.
So one of our readers, Tracy, writes in that her dad who’s 75 had severe sepsis and is struggling to wean off the ventilator. He’s been in ICU now for 15 days.
Now, Tracy, here is my tip for you to deal with this situation.
Severe sepsis is one of the most critical pictures that ICU teams deal with. So often what happens during a severe sepsis, patients are on ventilation, they are in an induced coma. They are on inotropes or vasopressors to keep them alive. They often go into kidney failure. They end up on dialysis. They have invasive catheters in such as a swan ganz or a PA catheter to measure their cardiac output or cardiac index because often the heart is also compromised or cardiac output is often compromised during sepsis. So the picture during sepsis is very critical.
There are many things happening simultaneously to keep the patient alive and get them through that septic picture. So therefore, your father would be very, very weak during such a sepsis and also coming out of the sepsis, so no surprise to me that your dad is having difficulties coming off the ventilator after what he’s been through.
So you will need to be patient. Your father may end up with a tracheostomy as a next step. So he can come off the ventilator in his own time. So therefore, I’m not surprised at all that your father has difficulties coming off the ventilator after such a severe sepsis. Also Tracy, you’re just scratching the surface here because this again, as I mentioned to you, there are so many things happening simultaneously when somebody is critically in ICU, that you know, you need to have worked in ICU for many years to understand the ins and outs to understand the details.
So, you know, even though your question is very relevant, it’s a very general and very broad question after a severe sepsis. So, what we do at intensivecarehotline.com, we advocate and consult families in intensive care. And one way we do that is basically to talk to the doctors with you and find out what’s exactly happening.
And ICU teams are often not transparent, and it’s also very important that you as a family, know what questions to ask. If you don’t know what questions you need to ask when your loved one is in intensive care, it’s very difficult for you to get control, power and influence or peace of mind, let alone make informed decisions. So the biggest challenge for families in intensive care is simply that you don’t know what you don’t know.
So, I hope that helps Tracy for now. Go and check out our case studies at intensivecarehotline.com. If you have any questions, send us an email to [email protected] or give us a call on one of the numbers on the top of the website at intensivecarehotline.com.
This is Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com and I’ll talk to you in a few days.
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