Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com with another quick tip for families in intensive care.
Today’s quick tip is a question that I’m going to ask you. And the question is, would you jump off a bridge if someone asked you to? Let’s dive right into it.
So, you might ask straight away, what does that have to do with having a loved one critically ill in intensive care? Well, it does have everything to do with it. Let me explain.
Every day we have people contact us and they say things like, “My loved one is in intensive care. The intensive care team says I have to make a decision by tomorrow to consent to a tracheostomy or to consent to a one-way extubation or to consent to have life support withdrawn”, which ultimately would result in death. Or they say things like, “Tomorrow at 10 o’clock, we have to go to a family meeting with the intensive care team, tomorrow at five o’clock they’re telling us we have to give consent to get my loved one into LTAC or subacute or rehab.” Same old, same old.
I’ve worked in intensive care for over 20 years and intensive care teams are very good at pretending that they operate in a vacuum. They’re very good at pretending, “We can do whatever we like when it comes to life or death decisions. We can do whatever we like if it comes to sending your loved one to another facility.” They pretend you have to do this, you have to do that and you have to do this.
Now, what if the intensive care team said to you, “Hey, tomorrow at five o’clock you got to jump off a bridge and probably die!” Would you do it? Well, you wouldn’t. Would you? So same with intensive care teams, if they ask you, you have to do this and you have to do that. Well, you don’t have to do anything. What you have to do is the most important thing here.
The most important thing that you have to do is do your own research. Do your own research because the biggest challenge for families in intensive care is simply that they don’t know what they don’t know. They don’t know what to look for, they don’t know what questions to ask. Most importantly, they don’t know their rights and they don’t know how to manage doctors and nurses in intensive care. And that is your biggest challenge. You don’t have to do anything. You have to do your own research. That is the most important thing.
By talking to us, by getting engaged with us, by using our consulting and advocacy service, we know intensive care inside out. We know your rights that the intensive care team is simply trying to deny to you without your knowledge, that you have rights, you have every right. Picture this, everything in a hospital is attached to a policy, whether it’s mopping the floors, cleaning the floors, whether it’s washing the windows, whether it’s cleaning, wiping the bench, everything in the hospital has a policy attached to it.
Now, if everything in a hospital has policies attached to it, the intensive care team has a policy attached to sending people out to withdrawing life support, to doing tracheostomy. So, they can’t do nothing without your consent.
That is 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] Also, if you like this video, give it a thumbs up.
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This is Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com, and I will talk to you in a few days.