Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com with another quick tip for families in intensive care.
So yesterday, I was talking to a client who said his 32-year-old fiancé is in ICU after cardiac arrest, potentially with a hypoxic brain injury after prolonged resuscitation, in and out of hospital cardiac arrest. Initially, the intensive care team was telling him that his fiancé is brain dead without providing any evidence. And now that she’s showing mild signs of waking up after only four days in ICU, they’re saying, “Oh, she’s definitely going to be in a vegetative state for the rest of her life after four days in ICU.”
Now, I have yet to find out how someone can predict after four days in ICU that someone is definitely going to be in a vegetative state for the rest of their lives if they’re 32 years of age, no proper diagnosis has been made. I understand no MRI scan has been done yet. A CT scan has been done showing some hypoxic brain injury, but she’s only been off sedation for a couple of days. And I think it’s not appropriate to say that someone is definitely going to be in a vegetative state for the rest of their lives after only four days in ICU.
Sometimes patients take many days, many weeks, sometimes many months to wake up, and they may never wake up. Nobody knows. But people have to be given a chance, especially if that’s what patients and families want. People need to be given time, especially if they’ve been on sedatives for a couple of days. Our client’s girlfriend is also on anti-convulsant, which also have a sedative effect. So, it’s very premature to say that she’s going to be in a vegetative state for the rest of her life.
So, you got to get all the facts first. You got to go through a series of questions when someone is in ICU. You got to get a proper neurology consult, which I believe hasn’t happened yet. There are so many things that families don’t know when their loved ones are in ICU. As a matter of fact, that is the biggest challenge for families in intensive care, that they simply don’t know what they don’t know. They don’t know what to look for. They don’t know what questions to ask. They don’t know their rights, and they don’t know how to manage doctors and nurses in intensive care. And that’s exactly what this gentleman is dealing with here.
His girlfriend needs time to wake up. It might need many days, many weeks, potentially many months, but with a lot of encouragement, with a lot of physical therapy, with positivity, optimism, that is often half of the battle, it is worth to give her a chance rather than putting a claim in the stake and saying, “Oh, well, this person is definitely going to be in a vegetative state for the rest of their lives.” That is not appropriate.
So, that is my quick tip for today.
Also, have a look at our membership for families in intensive care, 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 your questions intensive care related.
Also, if you need a medical record review for your loved one in intensive care, we review live medical records in intensive care, and we also review medical records after intensive care, especially if you’re suspecting medical negligence, then we can help you with that. Please reach out.
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Thanks for watching.
This is Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com and I’ll talk to you in a few days.