Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com with another quick tip and questions answered for families in intensive care.
So, I had an email from Michael yesterday and Michael writes, my dad is 81 years of age and he has brain damage. He had a cardiac arrest and a hypoxic brain injury five days ago, and he was in ICU on a ventilator and life support.
Today, we actually took him home from hospital and we’re continuing to care for him at home. The ventilator has been taken off now but the breathing tube still remains in his mouth. I would really like to get some insights and answers to the following questions. So what’s going to happen if the breathing tube is removed?
So, Michael, it really depends, you know, I would assume that if the intensive care team has allowed for you to go home with your dad, that they think once you remove the breathing tube that your dad might pass away. But you’ve got to check with the doctors that they discharged him, there should be a discharge summary, should be medically discharged so you should get some guidance from there.
But I would assume that if your dad has a significant hypoxic brain injury, that he may not be able to survive without the breathing tube.
So next, Michael, you say you were told that there will be a lot of fluids from inside the body coming out when the pipe is removed. Is that true?
Look, probably depends on a number of things. Depends on whether your dad will have some fluids on his chest, some secretions on his chest. Again, you should probably suction your father before you’re taking out the breathing tube and that’s standard practice to suction simultaneously when the breathing tube is removed.
You see, one issue with the situation really is you should’ve engaged a service-intensive care at home and intensive care at home could have helped you with your dad at home cause they’re sending ICU nurses and pediatric ICU nurses to facilitate those extubation situations. Extubation is the removal of the breathing tube and intensive care at home can facilitate those extubation situations at home and make it smooth for you and your family. Go and check out intensivecareathome.com for more information about the service.
So, number three, you’re saying it’s been about six hours since the ventilator has been removed, but the breathing tube is still there. How long will your father survive? You would want him to have a peaceful end of life situation and avoid further trauma to the family.
You see, Michael. It’s really hard to say there is, nobody has a crystal ball to say that if ventilation has been removed for six hours, that you know your dad is going to live for another six hours for another six minutes. Nobody knows, right? Nobody has a crystal ball. You want him to die peacefully, and I totally understand that and I get that.
And you want to avoid further trauma to your family. Again, one way to have Professionals around you and your father while situation like that occurs. You should go back to a service like intensive care at home. We have all the expertise at home to facilitate end of life with a critically ill patient like your father.
And then your last question was, will there be any risk of infections that could arise after the removal of the ventilator and the breathing tube to my father with a brain injury? So Michael, the risk for infection at home is really minimal. In intensive care, your father and your family are surrounded by many bacteria and viruses because of all the sick patients in intensive care. At home, there’s a minimal infection risk, and again, that’s why it’s so important to have services like intensive care at home that can take patients home from intensive care.
Get them in a better environment, get them in a family environment, improved quality of life, improved quality of end of life, cut the costs of an intensive care bed by half and minimize the infection because there’s, generally speaking, home care is a clean environment and it’s just a much better environment.
So, go check out intensivecareathome.com for more information. If you have a loved one in intensive care in a similar situation, go and have a look at intensivecarehotline.com, check out our case studies.
If you want to take out your loved one home from intensive care, go and have a look at intensivecareathome.com.
This is Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com and I’ll see you in a few days with another update.