Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com with another quick tip and case study for families in intensive care.
So today I want to talk about a client that we worked with in the last few weeks, and he is a 36-year old man that ended up in ICU in the US. And the family first contacted us saying, look, our 36-year old husband, at that stage it was the wife that contacted me, said that he’s contracted COVID. Initially went into ICU with respiratory failure, ended up on BiPAP for a few days, but couldn’t tolerate BiPAP any longer, ended up with a breathing tube , and in an induced coma. He had to be proned fairly quickly because he deteriorated rapidly and was paralyzed and there was no signs of improvement. So when the family was obviously asking for advice, was asking for help, and I obviously advised them that ECMO might be an option for them. The family had no idea what ECMO is. The intensive care team hadn’t briefed them or informed them about ECMO.
And that’s why if you’re watching this video, that’s why it’s so important that if you have a loved one in intensive care, that you start doing your own research, that you start asking for treatment options. Most families in intensive care, they don’t know what they don’t know. They don’t know what to look for. They don’t know what questions to ask. They don’t know their rights and they don’t know how to manage doctors and nurses in intensive care. And that’s where we can help you with very, very fast.
So, cutting a long story short, we obviously informed the family about ECMO, and lo and behold, the client’s husband did not improve. And thankfully with our advocacy and informing the patient, he ended up on ECMO in another hospital. He was on ECMO for about four weeks for COVID ARDS for respiratory failure. Had the standard treatment, which at the moment, from what I understand is steroids such as dexamethasone, as well as the remdesivir. But that wasn’t enough, that didn’t work. The ECMO eventually gave his lungs time to heal and for anybody watching that wonders, what is ECMO?
ECMO is basically a bypass machine and that can take over the function of the lung for a period of time to give the lungs time to rest and heal. So after a few weeks of ECMO, the client came off ECMO, which was great. And now the client is in the recovery phase, has gone to step down ICU, still ventilated and on a tracheostomy. But obviously is on the mend and is in good spirits. Brain is intact. Brain is working, started physical therapy or physiotherapy, and hopefully can take the next steps towards having more time off the ventilator, going on the tracheostomy mask from pressure support ventilation, CPAP ventilation going onto the trachy mask. And then again, as time goes by, mobilization, breathing exercises more time off the ventilator, hopefully then being completely off the ventilator and then having hopefully the tracheostomy removed eventually.
So it’s really important that families understand what options are available to them, but it’s also important to understand, that a recovery after prolonged intensive care treatment can take a long time. There can be many setbacks. I’ve made some videos around two steps forward, one step back. And unfortunately, these things take time. If someone can’t come off the ventilator at all, you should be looking at services like Intensive Care at Home.
So check out intensivecareathome.com where we can help you to take patients home from intensive care directly. Currently, we are predominantly in Australia, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and we’re not in the United States and the UK yet, but we’re definitely planning to go there and we can still help you with some advice to take patients home. We also have a couple of service providers in the US that we can refer you to. We’re very happy to help wherever we can and go from there.
So that is my quick tip and case study for today.
If you have a loved one in intensive care, go to intensivecarehotline.com and call us on one of the numbers on the top of our website or send me an email to [email protected]. Also, like this video, give it a thumbs up, comment below what you want to see next, or what questions you have. Subscribe to my YouTube channel for regular updates for families in intensive care and click the notification bell.
This is Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com and I’ll talk to you in a few days.
Take care for now.