Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from INTENSIVECAREHOTLINE.COM , where we instantly improve the lives of Families of critically ill Patients in Intensive Care, so that you can 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!
This is another episode of “your questions answered” and in last week’s episode I was explaining
you can read or watch it by clicking on this link here.
In this week’s episode I want to show you
“THE 5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW IF YOUR LOVED ONE IS CONFUSED, AGITATED AND DELIRIOUS IN INTENSIVE CARE!”
We often get inquiries from Families of critically ill Patients in Intensive Care how they should deal with their loved one who is delirious, agitated and/or confused in Intensive Care. Those Family members are often at a loss in how to deal with their critically ill loved one, who in those difficult and challenging circumstances often displays a different, changed and strange side of their personality.
Now in order for you to know, understand and then effectively deal with why your loved one may be delirious, agitated and/or confused in Intensive Care there are 5 things that you need to know!
1. Know that the most likely reason for your critically ill loved one’s confusion and/or agitation is often the Intensive Care delirium, often induced by all the drugs and mainly the sedative drugs and pain medication your loved is receiving or has received
If your critically ill loved one has been in an induced coma ( What is an induced coma and why is my critically ill loved one in an induced coma?) chances are that by the time your critically ill loved one is waking up out of the induced coma that he or she may be a different person to the person you know and that he or she may show signs of a different personality from the person that you are used to.
Know that waking up from an induced coma is rarely a “straight forward” process and know that waking up from an induced coma is not like switching on a light and it’s more like turning on the light with a dimmer switch. The longer your loved one has been in an induced coma, the more difficult “waking up” generally is and keep in mind the longer the induced coma, the more drugs have been accumulated in your critically ill loved one’s body.
The more drugs have been accumulated in your loved one’s system, the longer, the more difficult and challenging “waking up” is going to be and the likelihood of your loved one being confused, delirious and agitated is increasing with the time that your loved one is kept in an induced coma.
What you also need to know is that the confusion, agitation and delirium is temporary and more often than not disappears after your loved one has left Intensive Care.
2. A disturbed day and night rhythm contributes to agitation, delirium and confusion
Intensive Care is a challenging environment at the best of times and keep in mind that in most Intensive Care Units, your loved one is losing track of day and night. That’s not overly surprising given that most Intensive Care Units have very little or no natural daylight. Furthermore, Intensive Care is a 24/7 environment and is often busy and noisy, whether it’s 2pm or 2am.
Care provided to your critically ill loved one is sometimes not all that different, whether it’s day or night. Usually the acuity dictates the care provided. With that in mind, when your critically ill loved one is “waking up”, he or she often has no idea or concept where he or she is, let alone what has happened. They get around to all of this in their own time.
3. Your loved one won’t remember a single thing
Most critically ill Patients in Intensive Care won’t remember a single minute of their stay in Intensive Care. It often stays in their memory as a big blur and your loved one may remember being in hospital but most of the time won’t remember being in Intensive Care. That also means they don’t remember being confused, agitated and/or delirious.
4. Here is what you need to know about confusion, delirium and agitation after head injuries or Traumatic brain injuries
Whilst it’s very challenging for your critically ill loved one to wake up after an induced coma, it’s often even more challenging and frightening for you and for your Family to see your loved one waking up after a head injury or a Traumatic brain injury.
In some instances your critically ill loved one may be taking days or sometimes weeks to wake up after a Traumatic brain injury. If your critically ill loved one is waking up, he or she may show signs of confusion, delirium and agitation. And if your loved one is showing those signs after a severe head injury or head trauma, that’s generally a good sign, because it shows that the brain is working. Not to the fullest capacity yet, but it’s working. The worst thing that can happen is that there are no signs of your critically ill loved one waking up. If that’s the case you mustn’t give up and you must stay positive and patient. I have written a few articles regarding the topic, click on the links below to get more information on
- THE 10 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT SEVERE HEAD OR BRAIN INJURIES (INCLUDING TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY AND STROKE) IN INTENSIVE CARE THAT YOU MUST KNOW, ESPECIALLY IF YOUR CRITICALLY ILL LOVED ONE ISN’T WAKING UP!
- AVOID MISTAKES YOU ARE MAKING AND DOING THE RIGHT THINGS WHILST YOUR LOVED ONE IS CRITICALLY ILL IN INTENSIVE CARE!
• How to stay positive if your loved one is critically ill in Intensive Care
• How long does it take to wake up from a Traumatic brain injury or severe head injury?
• How to take control if your loved one has a severe brain injury and is critically ill in Intensive Care
5. This is what you can do about it and this is what the ICU team should be doing if your loved one is delirious, confused and/or agitated
• Be patient. I know that this is easier said than done. But being patient and positive are most likely to be the most important skills to have when it comes to your loved one showing signs of confusion, agitation and delirium
• Know that it will change and it’s only a matter of time until your loved one will be back to normal again
• Don’t take it personal. If your loved one is displaying behaviour that is unusual, strange, aggressive and offensive, know that the Intensive Care staff are dealing with this over and over again with other Patients as well. It’s challenging for them too, but they don’t take it personal
• The Intensive Care team should make sure that your loved one gets back to a natural day and night rhythm by getting him or her out of bed during the day, showering them during the day, having some Physiotherapy exercises scheduled and so forth
• You should also ask the Intensive Care team whether your loved one can have a room with some natural daylight as that often improves the well being of your loved one as well
• Ask the Intensive Care team if they can take your loved one outside to get some fresh air and some natural daylight if his or her condition allows
I hope that this episode has helped you to understand what you need to do if your critically ill loved one is delirious, confused and agitated in Intensive Care.
If you want to have control, power and influence whilst your loved one is critically ill in Intensive Care and if you want to be perceived as strong, influential, impactful and knowledgeable by the Intensive Care team and if you want to be in control of your and your critically ill loved one’s destiny and if you want to make an impact, 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!
- 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 “killer” tips& strategies helping you to get on the right path to 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!
This is Patrik Hutzel from INTENSIVECAREHOTLINE.COM and I’ll see you again next week with another update!