Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com with another quick tip for families in intensive care.
So currently we are working with a client who has their 58-year old husband/father in intensive care after a cardiac arrest and a hypoxic brain injury. The client has been in ICU now for about 10 days. The ICU team as usual was very adamant from day one to stop life support because they were saying that the client will never wake up and will never have any quality of life so that they wouldn’t want to live anyway.
Now the family kept pushing back from day one saying, “Look, we want everything to be done. We don’t agree to withdrawal of life support.” And that they want their loved one to live irrespective of the quality of life they may or may not have in the future. And then they hired us because the pressure from the ICU team was getting more and more.
And obviously what I always say is that families in intensive care 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.
So we reminded the intensive care team of their duty of care. We reminded the intensive care team of policies and procedures that they have to follow before they actually can withdraw life support. And we managed to successfully turn this situation around in the favor of the client and the client, rather than having the breathing tube removed without any chance of having it put back in and probably would have died, we managed to secure a tracheostomy for this client so he can have all the time he needs to wake up in their own time.
Initially, the Glasgow Coma Scale was a 3 or 4, which is pretty low, it’s almost the synonym to a vegetative state. And now they’re having a Glasgow Coma Scale of 6 or 7. So he’s very, very slowly waking up and he’ll be given a chance to live, get off a ventilator and then hopefully take the next steps.
Now, how long will that take? Nobody knows, but once a critically ill patient has died, they’re dead. There’s no turning back from that. And we have so many families coming to us two years after they had a loved one passed away in intensive care, and then they’re finding our website. And then they’re saying, “Oh, I didn’t even realize there was somebody that can advocate for us and knows intensive care inside out, knows the rights for families in intensive care inside out.”
And that’s what we’ve done with this particular client, giving them a fighting chance to live. And again, nobody knows how long it’ll take, but at least their loved one is still alive and there’s hope that they may wake up or that they can spend more quality time with their loved ones.
So the other thing is this, in the absence of an advanced care plan, which wasn’t available in this situation, the client did not have an advanced care plan, then the family needs to step in and needs to say, “Look, this is what we want as next of kin/medical power of attorney for our loved one.” What needs to happen next, it’s not up to the intensive care team. And again, we can help you with that very, very fast.
That’s my quick tip for today.
Like this video, comment down below what questions that you have and subscribe to my YouTube channel. If you have a loved one in intensive care, go to intensivecarehotline.com or call us on one of the numbers on the top of the website, or send us an email to [email protected].
This is Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com and I’ll talk to you in a few days.