Quick Tip For Families In Intensive Care: When your loved one is on BIPAP, what are the next steps?
Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com with another quick tip for families in intensive care. Yesterday, I had an email from a reader Danny and he says that he’s 88-year-old dad has been in ICU for four days now with a lung infection. His dad has been started on BiPAP, which is basically a mask that ventilates his dad and as soon as the mask comes off, his oxygen levels drop down into the 70s, which is really dangerous and could cause a respiratory arrest.
So, then he says he feels pressure from the doctors and nurses to quote-unquote “take the next steps” without actually implying what that means. Now, having worked in intensive care for nearly 20 years, I know exactly what those next steps are but it doesn’t sound to me like Danny has been transparently informed about those next steps.
Now, the reality is the next steps are either intubation and is to put a breathing tube into your dad’s lungs and start ventilating him or potentially stop treatment. You should be doing some thinking about those options very carefully and you know because every course of action has a massive implication for your dad and one way or another whatever you decide is going to be the right decision, but you need to be informed about this.
The best way to get informed about this is to start reading about intubation or about ventilation and also about end of life options, and you can do that by starting to read on our blog intensivecarehotline.com and our case studies, “The Your Questions Answered” section or the shortcut is to call us directly on one of the numbers that you can find on the top of the website, and then you can talk to me and then we can take the next steps. So, do that and I’ll talk to you in a few days. Take care.