Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com with another quick tip for families in intensive care.
Yesterday I had an email from a reader and the reader says that his 91-year old mom is in ICU on a ventilator and the ICU team is telling him and his family that they want to take the breathing tube out tomorrow and take a “sink and swim approach”, whether his mum can breathe or not. And if she can’t breathe, is a very high chance, she will die, so and he is basically referring to, that the ICU team won’t let his mom gain the strength that she will need to be successfully extubated so she can breathe on her own without ventilator.
So here is my tip to manage a situation like that. So your biggest challenge at this point in time is that you simply don’t know what you don’t know and there is a very high chance, just as you said that if your mom gets the chance to gain strength, she will be successfully extubated without failing.
So what do you need to do in such a situation? Well, number one, you need to get clinical information so you can challenge the intensive care team. Now the problem is that when it comes to extubation and the removal of the breathing tube in ICU, it’s not just a simple, you know, a yes or no answer. Can she be extubated successfully or not? It comes down to detailed ventilation parameters, it comes down to arterial blood gas results and the interpretation of such, and it comes down to your mom’s neurological condition. So there’s a whole variety of things I’d need to be looked at in very much detail before you know, I can determine whether your mom can be successfully extubated or not.
So the devil is in the detail and the biggest challenge again for families in intensive care is that they simply don’t know what they don’t know. So the next step in a situation like that is read our case studies on our website, intensivecarehotline.com. We have hundreds of case studies and hundreds of questions answered from families in intensive care. Or if the shortcut is just to give us a call and one of the numbers on the top of the website, or just simply sent an email to [email protected]
This is my tip for today. It’s Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com. Take care and I’ll talk to you in a few days.