Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com with another quick tip for families in intensive care.
So, I had an email from Amy and Amy says, “My grandfather has been in ICU for 12 days now, and he’s on a ventilator. He had a cardiac arrest. He now has a tracheostomy. I hope he recovers soon. Do you have any suggestions?” Yes, I do, Amy, and I’m surprised to hear that your grandfather is still in an induced coma after he had the tracheostomy. Why am I surprised? Well, the whole purpose, or one of the purposes of doing a tracheostomy is to get out of the induced coma. So, while someone is on a ventilator with a breathing tube or an endotracheal tube, it’s so uncomfortable, so painful that someone needs to be in an induced coma in order to tolerate it.
Now, if he’s on a tracheostomy now, and he’s still in an induced coma, the question is what else is going on? Does he have seizures? Does he have a hypoxic brain injury? If they do stop sedation that he’s going to have seizures and therefore they need to control seizures. Even if he doesn’t have any seizures, when they try and wake him up, is he getting agitated? Is he confused? Is he thrashing around? Is he potentially aggressive? So, you haven’t shared any of that, but that would be the only reasons why I would think they might keep him in the induced coma. Other than that, they should go ahead, try and wake him up, and find out what his neurological condition is. I’m assuming, I don’t know whether he’s had a hypoxic brain injury or not. That’s something you might be able to share.
Now, do I have any suggestions? Yes, I do have some suggestions. (A), again, try and get him out of the induced coma as quickly as possible. That might help. And another suggestion is to, if he can’t be weaned off the ventilator, you’ve got to find out ventilator settings. You’ve got to find out if he does have seizures, is he on any anti-seizure medications? And then, once they’ve got the seizures under control, can he then be weaned off the ventilator? I don’t know the circumstance there, but what other suggestions do I have?
Let’s just say he can’t come off the ventilator once he’s out of the induced coma. Another suggestion that I have is to get him home with a service like Intensive Care at Home. It provides quality of life or quality of end-of-life, and also it helps the ICU freeing up their bed and cut the cost of the ICU bed by around 50%. You haven’t shared your location, Amy, but we are predominantly providing services in Australia, so you should contact us if you’re in Australia, and then we can help you from there.
That is my quick tip for today.
Now, if you have a loved one in intensive care, go to intensivecarehotline.com. Call us on one of the numbers on the top of our website or send us an email to [email protected].
Also, have a look at our membership site, intensivecaresupport.org, membership for families in intensive care, where you can ask questions daily to me and my team.
If you need a medical record review, contact us as well. We can help you reviewing medical records while you have a loved one in ICU or after ICU. If you’re suspecting medical negligence, we can help you with that as well.
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Thanks for watching.
This is Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com and I’ll talk to you in a few days.