Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com with another quick tip for families in intensive care.
Earlier today, I was doing a live stream and we had quite a few attendants on the livestream. And one of our attendants at the livestream at the YouTube livestream was actually asking, how can I convince ICUs to keep my loved one in ICU instead of going to LTAC? And this is mainly addressed at our viewers in the United States. So here’s my answer to that.
There are a number of things that you can do to convince them. Number one is that a patient who’s critically ill in intensive care on a ventilator with the tracheostomy is so vulnerable that they shouldn’t be going anywhere else because they need a stable team that gets to know a patient and helps them from being weaned off the ventilator. That’s one of the reasons.
Number two is, a patient that’s ventilated with a tracheostomy needs one on one, one to two nursing care with an intensive care nurse at a minimum. Once a patient goes to LTAC, the nurse to patient ratio is often dropping down to one to three, one to four, one to five, and often they’re not intensive care nurses. There are fewer respiratory therapists available in LTAC as well compared to ICU. So the level of care is actually deteriorating.
Next, many LTACs are far away from the hospital. Meaning, sometimes we have seen that patients have been asked to go to another state to go to an LTAC. That’s insanity, hours away from their family. Patients need their families around when they’re critically ill and when they’re so vulnerable. So that’s another reason why your loved one shouldn’t go to LTAC and that’s something you need to remind the intensive care team of.
And, last but not the least, another reason why your loved one should not go to LTAC, is simply that when they go to LTAC, they can deteriorate and then they need to go back into ICU. Now I have seen patients going to LTAC, then they need ICU, and then they end up in another hospital because the ICU that discharged them doesn’t have a bed available anymore. That is insanity in my mind, because think about it, your loved one is so vulnerable. He goes from ICU to LTAC and then bounces back into ICU. And within a few days, your loved one will be in three different facilities while they are critically ill. That is insanity. Again, just like I said, in the beginning, a critically ill patient needs a stable team and not going from place to place.
Now, if all of that fails, you should also look at intensivecareathome.com. Home care is often the best option when someone needs long-term ventilation with tracheostomies. So go and check out intensivecareathome.com.
And if you have a loved one in intensive care and you need help, go to intensivecarehotline.com, call us on one of the numbers on the top of the website, or send us an email to [email protected].
Also, like this video, comment below what insights you have, or what you want to see next, subscribe to my YouTube channel for updates for families in intensive care and click the notification bell.
This is Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com, and I will talk to you in a few days.
Take care for now.