Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com with another quick tip for families in intensive care.
So at the moment, we’re working with a client who has their 46-year old brother in ICU with pancreatitis and the client is asking, what questions should they be asking? And as I always say, the biggest challenge for families in intensive care is simply that families don’t know what they don’t know. They don’t know what to look for. They don’t know what questions to ask. And they don’t know how to manage doctors and nurses in intensive care to get the best outcomes for their loved ones.
So my suggestion to this client was to let me talk to the doctors with them, which is what we did in the end. And then I was able to ask very succinct clinical questions for pancreatitis.
So the situation is as follows. The client’s brother has been in ICU now for eight days on a ventilator, in an induced coma with pancreatitis, the pancreas is inflamed. The pancreas markers are increased. There is also a chest infection. There’s fluids on the lungs. The gentleman is on IV antibiotics to treat the infection. They’re waiting for blood cultures and sputum cultures to come back so that they can then narrow down the antibiotics to treat the right infections.
Now, the good news is, the pancreas is not necrotic, which means the tissue is not dead, which means the pancreas is just inflamed and not necrotic. Conservative treatment is usually the right approach. Meaning a patient needs to be stuffed of food, they need to get TPN or intravenous nutrition.
Now in this situation, the client’s brother also has a paralytic ileus, which means the bowels are paralyzed and the bowels are obstructed, which is a massive challenge because it basically puts pressure on the abdomen and then it puts pressure on the lungs, which means the lungs can’t expand properly and it’s contributing to the ventilator dependency.
So the next step really for this gentleman is to get the bowels going. Once the bowels are going, the pressure in the tummy will release, takes all the pressure off the pancreas, and then it takes pressure off the lungs.
And then hopefully the client can be woken up from the induced coma, can be extubated, the breathing tube can be removed and a tracheostomy can be avoided. So that is what to look for in a pancreatitis in intensive care, especially when it comes to ventilation and other complications.
That’s my quick tip for today. If you have a loved one in intensive care with pancreatitis or with any other major issues, you should contact us at intensivecarehotline.com.
Call me on one of the numbers on the top of the website, or send me an email to [email protected].
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This is Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com and I’ll talk to you in a few days.