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 our readers and the question last week was
You can check out last week’s episode by clicking on the link here.
In this week’s episode of “YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED” I want to answer another question that we get quite frequently, and the question this week is
“HOW LONG DOES A CARDIAC ARREST PATIENT STAY IN INTENSIVE CARE?”
Cardiac arrest Patients in Intensive Care are a frequent occurrence. After all a cardiac arrest is one of the most serious conditions, leading to critical illness and admission to Intensive Care.
There are a couple of distinctions in a cardiac arrest that you must know. Generally, there are two scenarios that may lead to admission into Intensive Care after a cardiac arrest
1) The witnessed cardiac arrest in a relatively controlled environment, where an ambulance or doctors and nurses were called and showed up immediately, like in somebody’s home or in a hospital and CPR(Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) was commenced immediately, even if commenced by a family member
2) Or the unwitnessed arrest, such as an “out of hospital cardiac arrest” in a more or less uncontrolled environment(shopping centre, car park etc…), with professional help not immediately available and a relatively long lag time in paramedics showing up at the cardiac arrest scene and with CPR not commenced immediately
The first scenario might deliver the better outcomes and also might shorten the stay in Intensive Care, however it also depends on what led to the Cardiac arrest in the first place. Contributing factors may be Heart disease, previous Heart attack, irregular heart rhythms and Cardiomyopathy to name a few.
The unwitnessed or “out of hospital” cardiac arrest often goes hand in hand with a relatively long period of professional help not being available and is usually a bad situation to be in and the survival rate in those situations is usually lower, compared to a cardiac arrest in a more controlled environment.
Both situations however, can lead to a relatively long stay in Intensive Care. Again, the length of stay also depends on other factors such as other co-morbidities of a Patient and the two most important questions after a cardiac arrest are
1) How much damage has been done to the heart and
2) Was there more than 3 minutes without oxygen to the brain, due to a delay in commencing CPR
If a lot of damage has been done to the heart, further treatment such as stimulating medication for the heart, Angiogram and Angioplasty, Bypass graft surgery, Intra-aortic Balloon pump and/or ECMO therapy might be other therapies that may be effective, however if the brain has had no or insufficient oxygen for more than 3 minutes, irreversible brain damage may have been done and it often changes dynamics quite dramatically. The diagnosis of irreversible brain damage can usually be confirmed in a CT of the brain, an EEG and also through assessment of a Neurologist.
But the ultimate test is usually if a Patient after cardiac arrest is showing any signs of awakening, purposeful movements and/or is generally “waking up” after initial sedation has been discontinued. If all that fails, then a prolongation of treatment may not be in the best interest of a Patient, however it is something that obviously needs to be assessed and confirmed and then discussed with the Patient’s family of what might be the best course of action.
- 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!
- THE 5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW IF THE MEDICAL TEAM IN INTENSIVE CARE WANTS TO “LIMIT TREATMENT”, WANTS TO “WITHDRAW TREATMENT” OR “WITHDRAW LIFE SUPPORT” OR WANTS TO ISSUE A “DNR” (DO NOT RESUSCITATE) OR AN “NFR” (NOT FOR RESUSCITATION) ORDER FOR YOUR CRITICALLY ILL LOVED ONE!
- THE 5 THINGS FAMILIES DO WHO HAVE PEACE OF MIND, ARE IN CONTROL, FEEL POWERFUL AND INFLUENCE DECISION MAKING FAST, WHILST YOUR LOVED ONE IS CRITICALLY ILL IN INTENSIVE CARE!
So how long does then a Patient after cardiac arrest stay in Intensive Care?
Ok, the answer of course is that it depends and it depends on how much damage has been done to the heart and what further treatment might be effective. If Bypass surgery(Open heart surgery) was effective a few days in Intensive Care might be sufficient, but if complications occur, sometimes a few weeks might be necessary as well. In case your loved one requires an Intra-aortic balloon pump or ECMO, you might plan for up to a few weeks in Intensive Care.
If the situation is more difficult and brain damage due to the lack of oxygen has been confirmed, the stay in Intensive Care may be a relatively short one, but again it depends. It depends on how much time the Intensive Care team requires to confirm the diagnosis, however it could well be that even if there is brain damage that there are still chances of recovery, which may need time.
Generally speaking, in both scenarios, often a ventilation tube is necessary and if there are difficulties in weaning your critically ill loved one off the ventilator, again the stay in Intensive Care might be a longer stay.
In both cases it is very important that you and your family are consulted and informed about the treatment options and the outlook.
So I hope that this gives you more insight and if you have a question that you want to have answered please send an email to [email protected]
How do you get to that all important feeling of 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 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 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 “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 “YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED” and I’ll see you again in another update next week! Make sure you also check out our BLOG section for more tips and strategies or send me an email to [email protected] with your questions!
This is Patrik Hutzel from INTENSIVECAREHOTLINE.COM and I’ll see you again next week with another update!