Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com with another quick tip for families in intensive care.
So, one of our readers, Roy asked, how likely is it for someone at the age of 70 or above to get off the ventilator in intensive care? Now, that’s a great question Roy but it also needs to be broken down into two segments.
Number one is to come off the ventilator with a breathing tube and or an endotracheal tube when you know a patient is in an induced coma. Now, and then the second part we need to look at how likely is it to come off the ventilator at the age of 70 and above, with a tracheostomy?
So let’s quickly look at question one. How likely is it to come off the ventilator with a breathing tube at the age of 70 or above? Look, generally speaking from my experience, after having worked in intensive care for 20 years, and after having looked after thousands of critically ill patients and their families, you can get off the ventilator at or above the age of 70. You know, it might take a little bit longer, you know, compared to younger patients, but it’s still possible and the vast majority of patients at the age of 70 or above, come off the ventilator, with a breathing tube.
Now, a lot of it depends on their pre-medical history, depends on what conditions they’re coming into intensive care. But again, the overwhelming majority can come off the ventilator even above the age of 70. It takes a little bit longer to wake up after an induced coma, which again, then delays the time somebody can come off the ventilator. Generally speaking, again, it takes a bit longer to wake up from an induced coma the older a patient is that has to do with, you know, drugs being metabolized, liver, kidney, you know, there’s a higher incidence of older patients that the kidneys or the liver is failing. And again, that takes them longer to metabolize the drugs that are given in an induced coma and that then again delay waking up and delay coming off the ventilator.
The second scenario when somebody has a tracheostomy at the age of 70 or above, again, it really depends but when somebody ends up with a tracheostomy in intensive care, chances are that it takes a lot longer to come off the ventilator, not impossible. But it takes a lot longer. And again, the older patients are, the higher the chance, they stay on a ventilator, or it takes a lot longer again, depending on the pre-medical condition.
A lot of times and patients above the age of 70 end up with a tracheostomy. A lot of time they have comorbidities such as COPD, asthma, sometimes they might have heart failure. So it probably goes hand in hand with pre-medical, with comorbidities or a significant pre-medical history. But even then, sometimes patients come off the ventilator after six months, after six weeks, or if they can’t come off the ventilator at all, with a tracheostomy if they’re above the age of 70 or older they can use services like intensive care at home, where intensive care at home can provide an intensive care substitution service at home and your loved one can go home. So check out intensivecareathome.com for that.
So that’s my tip for today.
This is Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com. Like the video, comment down below what questions you have and subscribe to my channel. Take care.