Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com with another quick tip for families in intensive care.
I had an email today from Simone and Simone writes, my brother had lung failure and was rushed to hospital last week. My brother is 47 and the doctor said he’s critically ill so they put him in an induced coma and started to treat him.
He stayed in an induced coma for over two weeks and his lungs recovered relatively slowly. He eventually woke up and got back his consciousness. Now, at least he can move his head and he can see us and he can recognize our family. We are so concerned and worried because he cannot move another part of his body yet.
Well, thanks Simone for sharing your brother’s situation. So it’s good that your brother is finally waking up now you got to keep in mind that when somebody is in an induced coma for a prolonged period and two weeks is a prolonged period patients are unfortunately losing a lot of their muscles and their muscle tone, which means it’s not uncommon that they can’t move a lot of other body parts because they’re simply too weak after a critical illness it takes time to gain back strength.
So the next step is if your brother can’t come off the ventilator with a breathing tube in there in his mouth, the next step might be to do a tracheostomy and it’s simply easier for your brother to tolerate ventilation once he has a tracheostomy. Tracheostomy is basically a breathing tube through the neck rather than through the mouth.
It’s much more comfortable, but it’s also often a long-term tube that may or may not be able to be removed long-term, but it might be the next natural step for your brother to have that tracheostomy. Also if he does have a tracheostomy it will also be easier for your brother to get mobilized and get out of bed, which will then help him to move body parts.
So it’s important that your brother can get out of bed and can get mobilized to get some of his strength back, the next thing you might want to look at is if he’s losing muscle tone and muscle strength is nutrition. So you got to ask the Intensive Care team whether your brother is getting adequate nutrition.
Is he having a nasogastric feeding tube and is he actually getting fit with the feeding tube? Other things you need to look for are chest x-rays and also arterial blood gases. In arterial blood gases, you can actually see the effectiveness of ventilation and you can find out how far away your brother is to come off the ventilator.
So and if you need help with, you know looking at chest x-rays looking at arterial blood gases, looking at ventilator settings, of course and also looking at what medication is your brother on that would potentially inhibit to mobilize him to get him off the ventilator. I strongly suggest that you contact us at intensivecarehotline.com. Call us on one of the numbers on the top of the website or simply send me an email to [email protected]
This is Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com, and I’ll see you again in a few days with another quick tip.