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Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from INTENSIVECAREHOTLINE.COM, where we instantly improve the lives for Families of critically ill Patients in Intensive Care, so that you can make informed decisions, have peace of mind, real power, real control and so that you can influence decision making fast, even if you’re not a doctor or a nurse in Intensive Care!
In the last BLOG I shared
WHY HOPE IS NOT A STRATEGY WHEN IT COMES TO LIFE OR DEATH SITUATIONS IN INTENSIVE CARE!
You can check out last week’s BLOG by clicking on the link here.
In this week’s blog I want to talk about
The cold harsh truth about intensive care that families in ICU need to know!
In today’s blog I want to give a word of warning to families in Intensive Care!
Your and other families’ biggest challenge is simply that you don’t know what you don’t know when your loved one is critically ill in Intensive Care!
It’s like stepping into the matrix. What you see is actually not what you get! There is a different world behind the curtains on the other side and I can help you to get the key to that matrix!
It’s the elusive obvious!
I know that may be disappointing for some of you, however glorifying the doctors and the nurses isn’t going to help you to make informed decisions, get peace of mind, control, power and influence!
The only way you can actually take control is facing reality as it is and then deal with it!
Reality in intensive care can be quite daunting, especially if you watched some crappy and unrealistic TV shows and soap operas like “ER” or any other unrealistic TV shows that are out there about hospitals, ICU or ER.
Forget about it! The day to day reality in Intensive Care is nothing like it!
You have to learn new things fast when you have a loved one in intensive care, you will need to withhold judgement and be on high alert until the picture becomes clear for you and until you can make informed decisions, get peace of mind, control, power and influence!
I’m here to help you with making sense in this difficult and heartbreaking situation, where you feel like people have pulled out the rug from underneath you!
Most of all, I’m here to help you to make informed decisions, get peace of mind, control, power and influence!
So why do I say, that there is a “cold, harsh truth about intensive care that families need to know about?”
I’m glad you’ve asked.
After having worked in intensive care for 20 years in three different countries, where I also worked as a nurse unit manager for over five years, I have seen enough to ‘lift the curtains’ for you and take you “behind the scenes” in intensive care.
Without you understanding what’s happening “behind the scenes” in intensive care it’s very difficult to make sense out of what you’ve been told by intensive care teams.
Everything that is being communicated to you and your family when you have a loved one in intensive care needs to be seen in light of what’s happening “behind the scenes” in intensive care.
This is particular important if your loved one is in one of the following situations in intensive care
Your loved one is either
- In a situation where the Intensive Care team suggests a “withdrawal of treatment” or a “limitation of treatment” as being “in the best interest” for your critically ill loved one
Those situations are the most challenging situations in intensive care quite frankly! Your loved one’s life is on the line period!
Those situations are also the situations where the stakes are incredibly high for intensive care teams.
Why are the stakes so high for intensive care teams?
I’m glad you’ve asked…
They are high because of the implications that those situations have for intensive care units.
What are the implications?
I’m glad you’ve asked…
The implications are issues such as
- Costs of those situations for Intensive Care units
- Profit margins of those situations for intensive care units
- Bed management in intensive care, i.e. are those situations leading to bed blocks and take up a bed in ICU for longer than is convenient for the ICU and the hospital?
- Staffing issues, i.e. is there enough skilled staff to look after all critically ill Patients?
- Staffing skill mix, I.e. junior staff vs senior staff. Most Intensive Care units are chronically short staffed and report a lack of senior staff specifically. Why? Because ICU is fast paced and quite frankly a lot of senior staff are sick of the politics, the hierarchy etc… in ICU and they leave the environment. This impacts hugely on ICU’s, especially on the moral of staff and of course it impacts on the ability to provide expert care if Intensive Care units have mainly junior staff on the floor
- Medical research interests. I.e. Patients ICU’s can enroll into medical research studies vs Patients that can’t be enrolled into medical research studies
- perceived outcomes of prolonged treatment and prolonged therapy
Am I suggesting that Intensive Care units don’t care at all?
It’s not what I’m suggesting at all.
There are a lot of caring doctors and nurses working in Intensive Care period. And I have worked with many of them.
Most health professionals in Intensive Care are very caring and compassionate people.
However, there are also medical, nursing and hospital administrators counting the beans so to speak and therefore, a lot of what is being communicated to you and your family is simply a result of what’s happening “behind the scenes” in Intensive Care! It’s a result of financial and resource management and not necessarily a result of the clinical realities!
The communication is a result of “counting the beans” so to speak.
Therefore you have to always read between the lines, period!
Failure to read between the lines will get you into all sorts of trouble and could quite frankly cost the live of your loved one!
- THE 10 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ARE HAPPENING BEHIND THE SCENES IN INTENSIVE CARE THAT HOLD YOU BACK FROM HAVING PEACE OF MIND, CONTROL, POWER AND INFLUENCE, WHILST YOUR LOVED ONE IS CRITICALLY ILL IN INTENSIVE CARE!
If you don’t understand what’s happening “BEHIND THE SCENES” in intensive care, you can’t interpret information correctly and you’re probably caught in the Intensive Care team’s negativity without you being able to make sense of it and interpret information to you and your family correctly.
You need to be able to read between the lines in order to negotiate best care and treatment for your critically ill loved one when they are at the brink of dying in Intensive Care.
There is also an elephant in the room.
What is the elephant in the room?
I’m glad you asked…
The “elephant in the room” as well as what’s happening “BEHIND THE SCENES” in intensive care is all dominating when it comes to how information is being delivered to you!
- THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM OR HOW THE INTENSIVE CARE TEAM IS MAKING DECISIONS WHILST YOUR LOVED ONE IS CRITICALLY ILL IN INTENSIVE CARE!
So what does that look like in reality?
The “best case scenario” for Intensive Care Units is a high turnover of Patients and reasonably short stays, whilst having more than 80-90% of beds filled.
Why? Because that maximizes revenue and it still leaves room for emergency admissions and other unplanned admissions, such as Patients with unplanned complications after surgery needing Intensive Care.
The worst-case scenario for Intensive Care units is the following situation.
- Very sick and unstable long-term Patients with uncertain outcomes. Those Patients often require multiple forms of life support such as mechanical ventilation, breathing tubes/endotracheal tubes, tracheostomies, ECMO, VAD’s, inotropes/vasopressors, dialysis for kidney failure, prolonged induced coma, head and brain injuries etc…
- Those Patients therefore require plenty of resources, I.e. beds, equipment and staff with specialist skills such as ICU doctors, ICU nurses etc…
- This is very resource intensive and an ICU bed costs $5,000 per bed day and if a Patient is occupying one of those expensive and in-demand beds- especially if there is an uncertain outcome- Intensive Care Units are often reluctant to use all of these resources
- This scenario, where ICU Patients are in a situation where they are unstable, very sick and the outcome is uncertain, is what often leads to Intensive Care teams being overtly negative. Those situations lead to Intensive Care teams saying that they think it’s “in the best interest” of a Patient to “withdraw or limit life support”.
- In those situations, negativity and “doom and gloom” isn’t going to help. Your loved one will need time and if you don’t know how to negotiate this time with the Intensive Care team, you will fight an uphill battle.
- You will also need to be able to find out if all treatment options have been offered and performed
- Make a distinction between “perceived” or “real” end of life situations. This is one way to find out what to do going forward
The Difference Between “Real” And “Perceived” End Of Life Situations When Your Loved One Is Critically Ill In Intensive Care!
- You will only be able to do that with a professional. This is something we can help you with here at intensivecarehotline.com because we can ask Intensive Care teams all the relevant clinical questions and we act as consultants and advocates on your behalf and we help you to get positive outcomes for you and your loved one!
- Again, your biggest challenge as a family who has a loved one in intensive care is simply that you don’t know what you don’t know
- You don’t know what to look for and you don’t know what clinical questions you need to ask
- In order to get the outcomes fast that your critically ill loved one will need in order to survive, you will need superior negotiation skills and clinical insights that you only get with the help of a professional consultant and advocate
- Extended and prolonged treatment in intensive care is often what gets your loved one to survive. The goal is to get your loved one to leave ICU alive and then take the next steps towards what can be a long recovery. The alternative to stop treatment prematurely is too bleak to even consider
- Make sure that “what you see is what you get”
HOW TO MAKE SURE THAT “WHAT YOU SEE IS ALWAYS WHAT YOU GET” WHILST YOUR LOVED ONE IS CRITICALLY ILL IN INTENSIVE CARE!
- Most of all, do never give up! Listen to some of our client interviews on our INTENSIVE CARE HOTLINE podcast so you can listen first hand in how clients went from their family members being very sick and supposedly dying, to recovery after we helped those families with consulting and advocacy!
How can you become the best advocate for your critically ill loved one, make informed decisions, get PEACE OF MIND, control, power and influence quickly, whilst your loved one is critically ill in Intensive Care?
You get to that all important feeling of making informed decisions, get PEACE OF MIND, CONTROL, POWER AND INFLUENCE when you download your FREE “INSTANT IMPACT” report NOW by entering your email below!
In Your FREE “INSTANT IMPACT” report you’ll learn quickly how to make informed decisions, get PEACE OF MIND, real power and real control and how you can influence decision making fast, whilst your loved one is critically ill in Intensive Care! Your FREE “INSTANT IMPACT” Report gives you in-depth insight that you must know whilst your loved one is critically ill or is even dying in Intensive Care! Sign up and download your FREE “INSTANT IMPACT” REPORT now by entering your email below!
In your FREE “INSTANT IMPACT” REPORT you’ll learn how to speak the “secret” Intensive Care language so that the doctors and the nurses know straight away that you are an insider and that you know and understand what’s really happening in Intensive Care!
In your FREE report you’ll also discover
- How to ask the doctors and the nurses the right questions
- Discover the many competing interests in Intensive Care and how your critically ill loved one’s treatment may depend on those competing interests
- How to eliminate fear, frustration, stress, struggle and vulnerability even if your loved one is dying
- 5 mind blowing tips & strategies helping you to get on the right path to making informed decisions, get PEACE OF MIND, control, power and influence in your situation
- You’ll get real world examples that you can easily adapt to your and your critically ill loved one’s situation
- How to stop being intimidated by the Intensive Care team and how you will be seen as equals
- You’ll get crucial ‘behind the scenes’ insight so that you know and understand what is really happening in Intensive Care
- How you need to manage doctors and nurses in Intensive Care (it’s not what you think)
Thank you for tuning into this week’s BLOG and I’ll see you again in another update next week!
Make sure you also check out our “YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED” section where I answer your questions or send me an email to [email protected] with your questions!
Or you can call us! Find phone numbers on our contact tab.
Also, have a look at our membership site INTENSIVECARESUPPORT.ORG for families of critically ill Patients in Intensive Care here.
Also check out our Ebook section where you get more Ebooks, Videos and Audio recordings and where you can also get 1:1 counselling with me via Skype or over the phone and via email by clicking on the email and phone counselling tabs on the top of the website!
This is Patrik Hutzel from INTENSIVECAREHOTLINE.COM and I’ll see you again next week with another update!
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- The 3 most dangerous mistakes that you are making but you are unaware of, if your loved one is a critically ill Patient in Intensive Care
- The 5 questions you need to ask when the Intensive Care team is talking about “Futility of treatment”, “Withdrawal of life support” or about “Withdrawal of treatment”
- HOW TO STOP BEING HELD HOSTAGE BY THE INTENSIVE CARE TEAM if your loved one is critically ill in Intensive Care!
- 5 POWERFUL THINGS YOU NEED TO DO IF THE INTENSIVE CARE TEAM IS NEGATIVE WHEN YOUR LOVED ONE IS CRITICALLY ILL IN INTENSIVE CARE!
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- How long does it take for my critically ill loved one to be taken off the ventilator and have their breathing tube/ endotracheal tube removed
- Why you must make up your own mind about your critically ill loved one’s situation in Intensive Care even if you’re not a doctor or a nurse!
- The ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM or HOW THE INTENSIVE CARE TEAM IS MAKING DECISIONS whilst your loved one is critically ill in Intensive Care!
- MY PARTNER IS IN INTENSIVE CARE ON A VENTILATOR! THE INTENSIVE CARE TEAM WANTS TO DO A TRACHEOSTOMY AND I WANT TO HAVE HIM EXTUBATED! WHAT DO I DO?
- 5 ways you are UNCONSCIOUSLY SABOTAGING yourself whilst your loved one is CRITICALLY ILL in Intensive Care and HOW TO STOP doing it!
- How to make sure that “what you see is always what you get” whilst your loved one is critically ill in Intensive Care
- 5 Ways to have control, power and influence while your loved one is critically ill in Intensive Care
- Family overjoyed as top court rules doctors must seek consent before taking a patient off life support
- How to make sure that your values and beliefs are known whilst your loved one is critically ill in Intensive Care
- My loved one has HIV, lymphoma on his brain, seizures, septic and is ventilated! The Intensive Care team is trying to TAKE MY HOPE AWAY and they are all NEGATIVE! HELP!
- MY PARTNER IS IN INTENSIVE CARE AFTER A BLEED ON A BRAIN! WE ARE WORRIED THAT THE INTENSIVE CARE TEAM WANTS TO SWITCH OFF THE VENTILATOR! HELP!
- HOW TO DEAL WITH A DIFFICULT INTENSIVE CARE TEAM, WHEN YOUR LOVED ONE IS CRITICALLY ILL IN INTENSIVE CARE!
- What the doctors and the nurses behaviour in Intensive Care is telling you about the culture in a unit
- How to take control if your loved one has a severe brain injury and is critically ill in Intensive Care
- How can I be prepared, be mentally strong and be well positioned for a Family meeting with the Intensive Care team?(PART 1)
- How can I be prepared, be mentally strong and be well positioned for a Family meeting with the Intensive Care team?(PART 2)
- The four DEADLY SINS that Families of critically ill Patients in Intensive Care CONSTANTLY MAKE, but they are UNAWARE OF!
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- Why decision making in Intensive Care GOES WAY BEYOND your critically ill loved one’s DIAGNOSIS AND PROGNOSIS!
- The 4 ways you can overcome INSURMOUNTABLE OBSTACLES whilst your loved one is critically ill in Intensive Care!
- How to get PEACE OF MIND, more control, more power and influence if your critically ill loved one is DYING in Intensive Care!
- The 5 QUESTIONS you need to ask, if the Intensive Care team wants you to DONATE your loved one’s ORGANS in an END OF LIFE SITUATION!
- MY PARTNER IS IN INTENSIVE CARE ON A VENTILATOR! THE INTENSIVE CARE TEAM WANTS TO DO A TRACHEOSTOMY AND I WANT TO HAVE HIM EXTUBATED! WHAT DO I DO? (PART 1)
- How MEDICAL RESEARCH DOMINATES your critically ill loved one’s diagnosis and prognosis, as well as the CARE and TREATMENT your loved one IS RECEIVING or NOT RECEIVING
- WHAT WOULD YOU DO if you knew that you COULD NOT FAIL, whilst your loved one is critically ill in Intensive Care
- How the Intensive Care team is SKILFULLY PLAYING WITH YOUR EMOTIONS, if your loved one is critically ill in Intensive Care!
- My father is in Intensive Care ventilated with LIVER FAILURE and KIDNEY FAILURE, I DON’T THINK HE WILL SURVIVE! HELP
- HOW TO GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO HAVE PEACE OF MIND, CONTROL, POWER AND INFLUENCE WHEN YOUR LOVED ONE IS CRITICALLY ILL IN INTENSIVE CARE!
- My father has been weaned off the ventilator in Intensive Care and still has the Tracheostomy in. When can the Tracheostomy be removed?