Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel here from intensivecarehotline.com with another quick tip for families in intensive care.
So many families in intensive care come to us and they want to know, why is their loved one after cardiac arrest in an induced coma?
So here are a number of reasons why your loved one is in an induced coma after they had a cardiac arrest. So number one, after cardiac arrest, basically, you know, the heart stops and needs to be revived. So that’s quite a traumatic event. And then number two, during a cardiac arrest, your loved one would have needed a breathing tube to continue breathing because otherwise they would have stopped breathing.
Now a breathing tube and a mechanical ventilator that’s attached to a breathing tube always warrant an induced coma. That’s one of the reasons because it’s very uncomfortable having a breathing tube in somebody’s throat and being mechanically ventilated. That’s one of the many reasons why a loved one needs to be in an induced coma and have sedation after a cardiac arrest.
The next reason is that you know, to protect the other organs during a cardiac arrest, you know, bodily function needs to be minimized. And again, that’s happening during an induced coma. Body functions and other organs are protected by being in an induced coma.
The other reason your loved one needs an induced coma after cardiac arrest is that often hypothermia is being started as a therapy option. That means your loved one’s body is being cooled for the next 24 sometimes 48 hours to again protect other organs and minimize organ function to let the heart recover and also protect the brain. So that’s another reason why a loved one may need to go into an induced coma.
And other reasons are, that sometimes your loved one may need to be started on paralyzing agents because they might have some jerking after cardiac arrest. And if paralyzing agents are being used, an induced coma is necessary as well. One of the other reasons you’ll often may end up in an induced coma after cardiac arrest is diagnostics. So what that means is, your loved one may need a CT scan or an MRI scan of the brain because sometimes the risk after cardiac arrest is that, there is a hypoxic brain injury depending on the length of cardiac arrest.
And again, if your loved one is on a ventilator with a breathing tube and it’s to have a CT scan or an MRI scan, sedation, and again, sometimes paralyzing agents are necessary to make that happen. So those are the most important reasons why your loved one needs an induced coma after cardiac arrest. And then also once you know, your loved one hopefully is surviving the cardiac arrest and can be woken up, it might actually take some time to quote unquote wake up after an induced coma, especially with a cardiac arrest where brain injury can’t be ruled out.
So be patient if your loved one is in an induced coma and you know, comes out of the induced coma because it can take sometimes days if not sometimes weeks until your loved one can come out of the induced coma. We have lots of case studies about that on our website and we’ve also written extensively about how long it takes to wake up after an induced coma and so forth.
So that’s my tip for today. If you need help with your loved one in intensive care, go on our website at intensivecarehotline.com and ring us on one of the numbers on the top of the website or just send us an email to [email protected].
Go and put your questions below this video, what you want to see next and like the video, subscribe to my channel here on YouTube and I’ll talk to you in a few days.
This is Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com. Thank you.