Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com with another quick tip for families in intensive care.
So currently the COVID crisis is in full swing with families being locked out of intensive care all over the world because COVID-19 patients are locking up ICU beds, and while you’re watching this video, you might be one of those families being locked out of ICU.
Now, a lot of COVID-19 patients go into ARDS or lung failure while they’re in ICU, and while they’re battling this pandemic infection. So with ARDS, or lung failure, one therapy option is often prone therapy or proning.
Basically, what happens during proning therapy, patients get turned on their tummy to drain fluids off the lungs and enable the lungs to be better perfused, and then able a better oxygen perfusion to the lungs.
That is very draining and taxing on patients because imagine if you’re going to be turned on your tummy for at least 12 hours while you’re on a mechanical ventilator with a breathing tube in your mouth or in your throat. So that’s very taxing for a patient. They need lots of sedation. They need to be in an induced coma, and they often need to be paralyzed as well to tolerate such proning therapy.
An alternative to proning is often ECMO. ECMO basically is less taxing, but also has risks attached with it of course. ECMO basically is an external device that takes over the function of the lung for a period of time to give the lungs a chance to recover. Now, obviously you can’t do ECMO forever and a day, just like you can’t do the proning therapy forever and a day, but ECMO is certainly an option to help your loved one with ARDS or lung failure.
Now the challenge with ECMO is, it has limited access. There are a limited number of ECMO machines. There is a limited number of staff that can safely look after ECMO and ECMO is not available in every ICU. So if your loved one is in an ICU where ECMO is not available, they need a bed in another ICU, often in an ECMO center where ECMO is available.
So that’s my tip for today. Yes, ECMO is definitely an option for ARDS and lung failure during COVID-19. If you need help in finding a bed for your loved one, or if you just simply need more information about your loved one’s stay in intensive care, please contact us at intensivecarehotline.com.
Call us on one of the numbers on the top of the website or send us an email to [email protected]. You need to know there is definitely help out there. It’s not a one-way street, no matter what the intensive care team is telling you. We are here to help just like we have helped hundreds of our clients here at intensivecarehotline.com.
This is Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com. Like this video, comment down below with your questions and subscribe to my YouTube channel. Take care.