Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com with another quick tip for families in intensive care.
So today’s tip is about, is six days in ICU long enough to make a decision whether to give up on a critically ill patient or not? So, listen carefully today. I’ve got a really good tip for you.
So currently we are working with a client who has their 58-year old husband/father in intensive care after a cardiac arrest. And the intensive care team has been painting the doom and gloom picture from day one. They were saying their loved one is going to die because they had a cardiac arrest. They sustained a hypoxic brain injury because the brain was starved of oxygen for at least 15 minutes. And basically, the client’s father/husband is out of the induced coma, has had sedation stopped and is not waking up yet.
And this suggestion from the ICU team to the family after day three, day four, day five, was to stop life support and let their loved one pass away at the young age of 58 and at such a short period in ICU.
So here is what matters, after five or six days in ICU, it’s not a long time when patients stay in ICU, often for many weeks, sometimes even months. So five or six days in ICU is not a long time. And the ICU team doesn’t have a crystal ball. They just don’t have a crystal ball and they simply want to manage their beds. They have patients queuing up for ICU beds of course, especially since we’re still in the COVID pandemic. And the reality is, they need to manage their beds.
But it gets better. After about day five or day six, when we got involved into the case, we were talking obviously to the doctors and to the nurses and we found that life support was minimal. So even if life support had been stopped, their loved one wouldn’t have died because they were just on minimal support.
So it goes again to show that the biggest challenge for families in intensive care is simply that 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 come in as professional consultants and advocates for families in intensive care. We can put things right. We can ask the right clinical questions because if the family had been in a position to ask the right clinical questions, they would have had the answer for themselves that switching off life support is simply not an option and wouldn’t end the life of their loved one because their loved one is improving in the meantime and is making the first slow steps to recovery.
So I have made other videos about this, where the ICU team is often only telling you half of the story and they can do that because you’re not asking the right questions and again, that’s where we can help you. So that is my quick tip for today. Day five or day six, even week five or week six is not long enough in ICU to stop life support.
That’s my quick tip for today.
Like this video, comment down below what you want to see next and subscribe to my YouTube channel for updates for families in intensive care. And if you have a loved one in intensive care, go to our website, intensivecarehotline.com and call us on one of the numbers on the top of our website, or simply send us an email to [email protected].
This is Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com and I will talk to you in a few days.