It’s Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com with another quick tip for families in intensive care.
Today’s tip is about setbacks for long-term patients in intensive care. So we’re currently dealing with a client who, initially, when we first started working with the client, had their father in ICU. And their father was basically in a perceived end-of-life situation where the ICU team said, it’s “in the best interest” for their father to die. And the ICU team was pushing for end-of-life, comfort care, and basically euthanasia, or potentially even murder against the patient’s and the family’s wishes.
So in this situation, the client engaged us and we put a stop to that because we are professional advocates and consultants for families in ICU, and we understand intensive care inside out. And we understand patients’ and families’ rights in intensive care and intensive care teams can’t just withdraw life support without patient or family support. That is again, either euthanasia or even murder. And I know those are strong terms to be used, but there is no other way to describe this situation.
Anyway, cutting the long story short, when the client’s life was saved and they were going from perceived end-of-life to full treatment, everything changed dramatically. All of a sudden, the client’s heart condition was treated. He was weaned off the ventilator, had a cardiologist review because he had atrial fibrillation and had all the specialists coming in. And all of a sudden it was a very different conversation to be had about treatment options rather than about end-of-life. And a few days later, their father had time off the ventilator, had a tracheostomy done and with a tracheostomy, they could wean sedation, stop sedation, and then their father could be weaned off the ventilator. He was off the ventilator for a couple of days, and then he had a chest infection and he ended up back on the ventilator.
So here’s the moral of the story, especially for long-term patients in intensive care, it’s often two steps forward, one step back. Things improve and then things take a turn. So expect that, deal with it, two steps forward, one step back. Once the infection is cured, the client will move forward again.
That is my quick tip for today.
If you have a loved one in intensive care, go and check out intensivecarehotline.com and call us on one of the numbers on the top of the website, or simply send me an email to [email protected].
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Take care for now.