Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com with another quick tip for families in intensive care.
Yesterday, I had an email from Shontelle and Shontelle says that her 51-year old sister is in ICU after a heart attack and she sustained brain injuries. She’s now got seizures. She couldn’t come off the ventilator because of the seizures and she then ended up with a tracheostomy and she says, now they still can’t wake up her sister. And because she’s having seizures and the ICU team is telling her that it’s unlikely that her sister will survive.
So Shontelle, I know this is a tricky situation, but number one, let’s start with the most important sort of assessment of the situation. And that assessment is that the biggest challenge for families in intensive care is simply that you don’t know what you don’t know because ICU or intensive care is such a highly specialized area that you can only really understand if you’ve worked in there for decades, like I have done, I’ve worked in intensive care for 20 years, and it’s as simple as, you know, you need to understand intensive care inside out before you can make an informed decision.
And this is what it comes down to, you know, the intensive care team is painting a doom and gloom picture, and which is mostly inaccurate because many patients on a tracheostomy can actually survive. What needs to happen is your sister needs to, they need to manage the seizures first. And they can often do that with benzodiazepines. They can often do that with medication such as Keppra or Phenytoin or Vimpat and they need to adjust those medications so your sister can be seizure-free. Once she stopped the seizures, then they can start waking her up gradually.
And if her heart is strong enough, she will survive and she can then be weaned off the ventilator hopefully slowly, it’s not going to be a quick fix. ICUs, often paint the doom and gloom picture and say that people don’t survive because they want to empty their ICU beds. And their worst-case scenario is actually to have a patient in an intensive care bed for weeks or months to come because ICU beds are in high demand.
Now here’s another quick tip. If your sister can’t come off the ventilator and the tracheostomy, check out intensivecareathome.com because intensive care at home can take ventilated and tracheostomized patients home. From intensive care directly and your sister can live a better quality of life at home. So go and check out the intensivecareathome.com.
So like this video, subscribe to my YouTube channel and leave your comment below what questions that you have. If you have a loved one in intensive care, check out intensivecarehotline.com and call us on one of the numbers on the top of the website and we can help you from there.
This is Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com and I’ll talk to you in a few days.