Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com with another quick tip for families in intensive care.
So my tips are generally speaking, from real-world conversations that I’m having with clients or they are from emails that we’re getting from readers. So everything that I’m talking about here is real-world stuff. And if you go to our website at intensivecarehotline.com, you will see that when you opt-in for your free instant impact report, which I highly recommend, of course. Or if you opt-in for your free video mini-series to make informed decisions, get peace of mind, control, power and influence. We ask you what is your biggest frustration? And, that’s where some of my videos are coming from.
Today’s video is about such a frustration that the reader shared with us. And our reader says that, her biggest frustration is that, “My mom has a tracheostomy and the ventilator and she is now being moved to LTAC”. So this is obviously one of our readers in the U.S. because not any other countries have an LTAC. Let me quickly explain what an LTAC is.
LTAC stands for long-term acute care hospital or facility. A lot of patients in ICU that have a tracheostomy and a ventilator are being moved to LTAC. Very often prematurely, we’ve documented countless case studies where we either have saved families from going into LTAC, or we’ve worked with families in LTAC literally begging us to get them out of LTAC.
So the frustration for this lady is very real because, we strictly advise for patients not to go to LTAC from ICU. So why is that? You got to picture this, when someone is in intensive care and they’re needing a ventilator and a tracheostomy, that means they are very sick, they’re critically ill. They’re probably, assuming they’re going to survive, they’re probably as close to death as they can ever be in their lifetime. I guess that’s a good point to illustrate the situations critically ill patients are in.
And therefore by sending a critically ill patient to another facility that borders on insanity. And the reason for that is when someone is as vulnerable as a critically ill patient, they don’t need to be transferred to another facility. They are unstable, they’re critically ill. And it’s not as simple as, that patients have a tracheostomy in the ventilator and you can just get them to leave intensive care when they’ve just been in intensive care for a week or for two, they had a tracheostomy and then, ICUs want to send them out as quickly as possible to free up their beds and save money. And the list goes on because when someone again is in intensive care, critically ill, there are dozens of things going on where patients might have cardiac conditions, they might have just come off inotropes or vasopressors. They might have just come out of an induced coma.
The list of things that have gone on when someone is critically ill in intensive care is often endless. They might have had a bronchoscopy. They might have had a chest drain inserted. They might have had, a nasogastric tube inserted, most likely they might have had a PEG (percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy) tube inserted, and the list goes on.
Also in intensive care, patients get often chest x-rays daily, they get bloods taken daily and all of that is wound back in LTAC. It’s literally no longer existed. So let me explain a little bit more about LTAC.
LTAC from our experience is the better version of a nursing home. So patients go from being critically ill in intensive care with 1:1, 1:2 nurse to patient ratio at the most, to LTAC where they often have a 1:4, 1:5, sometimes 1:10 nurse to patient ratio overnight, for patients that have just come out of intensive care. And they’re ventilated and they have a tracheostomy, they are on life support.
And then when patients go to, there’s often only one doctor overseeing 30 beds or so, there’s generally speaking, no qualified ICU nurses, whilst its patients are still critically ill. Case in point.
So many of our clients, even though we strictly advise against LTAC. If they do decide to go to LTAC, they often bounce back into ICU in no time. And I am not surprised by that because, when someone is on a ventilator with a tracheotomy, they should not leave intensive care. The only way they should leave intensive care is with a service such as Intensive Care at Home.
Intensive Care at Home, provides standards in the community, whereas LTACs do not provide standards. If they do provide standards, they are very low standards. The standards are designed to save money, they’re not designed to provide and fulfill clinical need.
ICUs “sell families on”, “Well, we got to send your loved one to LTAC because they are the experts on weaning off one off the ventilator”. For goodness sake. That is certainly not the case. We’ve seen so many clients going to LTAC and things go from bad to worse. The safest place to wean someone off the ventilator is really in ICU because that’s where all the skills, equipment, knowledge and so forth are. That those skills are not available in LTAC, generally speaking from our experience. So how can you, then go on and avoid LTAC?
Well, it’s as simple as that, by avoiding LTAC. So what I mean by that is by just telling your ICU team you’re not going to LTAC. And that is your right, you are well within your right to refuse that. I’m assuming you are the power of attorney. If you are the daughter of your mother, I’m assuming you are the power of attorney. It’s as simple as you putting your foot down and reminding the ICU of your rights and we can help you with all of that. We have documents around, patient and family rights in ICU.
And, we have turned so many situations around which you can see actually on our testimonial page or have a look at our podcast with our testimonials from clients there. We’ve turned so many situations around in ICU or in LTAC. The work speaks for itself and we can turn your situation around as well. We get proven results because we understand intensive care and patient and family rights inside out. Not many organizations do know about patient and family rights in intensive care. And, not many organizations can provide a second opinion like we can, and we can do that really, really fast.
So I hope that helps how to avoid LTAC and, no need to be frustrated because you have rights and you can make those decisions without having anyone bully you into sending your mom to LTAC.
And last tip, when it comes to LTAC, especially for our clients and readers and viewers in the U.S., do not give consent to a PEG tube, that often avoids the LTAC altogether because LTACs do not take patience without a PEG tube.
So that’s my quick tip for today.
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 simply send us an email to [email protected] with your questions.
Also, have a look at our membership for families in intensive care at intensivecaresupport.org. There you have access to me and my team 24-hours a day in a membership area and via email and we answer all questions, intensive care and Intensive Care at Home related.
And I also offer 1:1 consulting and advocacy for families in intensive care over the phone via Zoom, via Whatsapp, Skype, whichever medium works for you. I have represented so many of my clients in family meetings with intensive care teams successfully. Of course, again, turning situations around saving lives, getting better outcomes for our patients and families and I can do the same for you. You can contact us.
Also, if you need a medical record review and the second opinion in real time, we can do that for you, of course. And we also review medical records after intensive care, especially if you have having unanswered questions if you’re needing closure or if you are suspecting medical negligence.
Now, subscribe to my YouTube channel for regular updates for families in intensive care. Click the like button, click the notification bell. Comment below what you want to see next or what questions and insights you have from this video, share the video with your friends and families.
Thank you so much for watching.
This is Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com, and I’ll talk to you in a few days.
Take care for now.