Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com with another quick tip for families in intensive care.
My tip today is about guardianship of your loved one in intensive care and why it’s important that you have 100% guardianship over your loved one when they’re critically ill in intensive care.
So this week I’ve been in a conference call within a family meeting for one of our clients in intensive care. One of our clients has their loved one in ICU and they’ve been in ICU for a few months now with a tracheostomy and with ventilation and he can’t come off the ventilator.
Now, the intensive care team has been trying to push towards a DNR or “Do Not Resuscitate” order for quite some time now. And the family is simply refusing because they want to have everything done for their loved one and they want to continue treating their loved one and weaning off the ventilator if possible.
So with the current COVID-19 situation, ICU’s are getting more and more desperate to empty ICU beds because there is a high demand for ICU beds, especially at the moment with COVID-19. So one way for ICU’s to empty beds, unfortunately, is to stop life support on patients that they deem not worth treating or that they deem futile to be treating.
But at the end of the day, it’s not a decision the ICU can make. It’s your decision or your family or if a patient has an advanced care directive, then that advanced care directive needs to be followed. So and therefore it is so important, critically important that you have in writing that you are the guardian for your loved one, so that it can’t be challenged because what we see and what I’ve seen in the family meeting that I was in this week, was that the hospital is trying to challenge the guardianship of this family.
Basically want to remove guardianship and then they want to stop life support and most likely their loved one will die. So, again, the biggest challenge for families in intensive care is simply that you don’t know what you don’t know. I’ve seen those tactics over the years that intensive care teams or ICU’s challenged the guardianship of a patient so that they can basically do what they want and this is really dangerous.
You as a family are the best advocate for your loved one and not the intensive care team. Intensive care team needs to treat patients and they need to treat it to the best of their abilities and not to stop treatment if the family or a patient is not ready for that. Life is sacred.
So that is my tip for today. Have it in writing even before your loved one goes to hospital. You know, you got to work that out even way before something’s happening, so that it’s bulletproof when those situations happen. And also be prepared that hospitals might do that and again, we can help you with advocacy and consulting here at intensivecarehotline.com if you have a loved one in intensive care.
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This is Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com and I’ll talk to you in a few days.