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 answered another question from one of our readers and the question last week was “I have MS, I was in ICU with Pneumonia and the Intensive Care team completely ignored my wishes to not have any life support!”
You can check out the answer to last week’s question here.
In this week’s episode of “YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED” I want to answer another question from one of our readers and in this week Peter from Melbourne, Australia asks
“My Dad had a STROKE, has been in Intensive Care for more than 2 ½ months now and is STILL VENTILATED with a Tracheostomy, will he EVER GET OFF the ventilator?”
I am Peter from Melbourne, Australia, my 78 yrs old dad has had a CVA/stroke and is in a minimally conscious state for the last 2.5 months.
Ever since he has been on a ventilator with Tracheostomy, although in the past two weeks the doctors have tried to wean him off twice once for 36 hrs and another for 45 hrs , however after that he became breathless and he became extremely tired.
Can you please advise me how you feel about his situation and about his case, do you think my dad will be able to breathe properly without the support of a ventilator or not?
Thank you for your email and thank you for making contact!
First of all, I am very sorry to hear what you and your Family are going through with your Dad’s long-term stay in Intensive Care!
It is extremely challenging and frustrating when you are confronted with a loved one being a long-term Patient in Intensive Care! It’s even worse once you realise that your critically ill loved one is unable to be weaned off the ventilator!
- FOLLOW THIS PROVEN 6 STEP PROCESS, ON HOW TO BE POWERFUL, IN CONTROL, INFLUENTIAL AND HAVE PEACE OF MIND, IF YOUR LOVED ONE IS A LONG-TERM PATIENT IN INTENSIVE CARE OR IS FACING TREATMENT LIMITATIONS IN INTENSIVE CARE!
- THE 7 ANSWERS TO THE 7 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS IF YOUR LOVED ONE REQUIRES ONGOING MECHANICAL VENTILATION WITH TRACHEOSTOMY IN INTENSIVE CARE!
- AVOID MISTAKES YOU ARE MAKING AND DOING THE RIGHT THINGS WHILST YOUR LOVED ONE IS CRITICALLY ILL IN INTENSIVE CARE!
In your Dad’s situation from what you describe and from what I can see, having been in Intensive Care for 2.5 months after a stroke and the Intensive Care team “only” tried to take your father off the ventilator on two occasions, one over 36 hours and one over 45 hours doesn’t appear to be a long enough time frame in order to succeed!
Having said that, normally, weaning a critically ill Patient off the ventilator can take sometimes weeks or even months and normally what happens is to start a weaning regime and those weaning regimes often start slow with having two hours off the ventilator a day and then slowly increasing the time that your Dad can stay off the ventilator!
The goal would then be within a few days or a few weeks to have your Dad breathing without the ventilator during the day and then having a rest period overnight where your Dad can be supported by the ventilator overnight!
Of course, this can be difficult to be achieved especially if your Dad had a severe CVA/ stroke that keeps him unconscious!
However as a rule of thumb, you and your Family may have to be patient and once again, just from what you describe, within a 2.5 month time frame trying to wean only twice over a 36 and a 45 hour period is not long enough and sounds very vague to me.
Furthermore you also need to ensure that your Dad is getting good nursing care such as
- Getting mobilised out of bed in a chair regularly
- Getting regular washes and showers daily
- Good mouthcare
- Getting out into the sun and getting some fresh air
- Having good and experienced nursing staff looking after your Dad
- Making sure that the Intensive Care team is not “neglecting” your father because they think he is a “hopeless case”. Often Intensive Care teams get frustrated with long term ventilated Patients with Tracheostomy and they often don’t give them the attention they need
These points are essential in order to achieve your goals!
The other thing that I can see as well is that if your Dad is in a minimally conscious state you need to ask where you are going from here and what you, your Family and your Dad want in a situation like this?
For example, are you prepared to
- Carry on weaning him off the ventilator in Intensive Care with an uncertain outcome, probably putting your and your Family’s life on hold in the process?
- Take your father home with the professional support of Intensive Care home services that specialises on long-term ventilation with Tracheostomy, this can and will improve your Dad’s Quality of life and/or Quality of end of life and you can stop visiting Intensive Care and putting your life on hold!
- Given that you’re in Melbourne, Australia check out INTENSIVECAREATHOME.COM.AU for tailor made home Intensive Care services as a genuine alternative to a long-term stay in Intensive Care
Once again, weaning your Dad for 36 and 45 hours respectively in a 2.5 month period doesn’t sound to me like a serious attempt to get your Dad off the ventilator and the Tracheostomy, therefore you may also have to consider the following
- Does the Intensive Care team have an interest keeping your loved in Intensive Care to keep their beds occupied and earn money and/or attract funding?
- Would the Intensive Care team conduct any research on your Dad and do they therefore not have an interest in getting your Dad off the ventilator?
- What would your Dad want in this situation if he could make a decision himself?
- Would it be better for your Dad to stop life support?
I think from what you describe, your best chances are to take your Dad home with the help of specialised services,(INTENSIVECAREATHOME.COM.AU ) that would probably also be more cost effective compared to a long-term stay in Intensive Care and provide your Dad and your Family with a better Quality of life and/or Quality of end of life and in the process probably also have PEACE OF MIND, control, power and influence!
Also, just by being at home you , your Family and your Dad, would also feel so much more at ease and your Dad, even though currently in a minimally conscious state, might feel the difference by being at home and he may get a boost!
Here are some related articles that will help you understand more about Tracheostomy and ventilator dependency and also how you need to manage the Intensive Care team
- My sister has been in ICU for 21 weeks with Tracheostomy and still ventilated. What do we need to do?
Here are some related articles that will help you dealing with the Intensive Care team
- Is it “SEXY” for the Intensive Care team to treat your loved one who requires a long-term stay in Intensive Care?
I hope that I was able to serve you with this answer and please let me know if you have any more questions!
Sincerely, your Friend
How can you have PEACE OF MIND, control, power and influence whilst your loved one is critically ill in Intensive Care?
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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 “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 episode of “YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED” 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!
Sincerely, your Friend
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