Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from www.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 explained
If you haven’t read it, you can check it out here.
In this week’s episode of “your questions answered” I want to answer another very important and frequently asked question of our readers at INTENSIVECAREHOTLINE.COM and the question that I want to answer this week is
“HOW MANY BLOOD TESTS SHOULD MY CRITICALLY ILL LOVED ONE HAVE IN INTENSIVE CARE PER DAY?”
This is actually a great question to ask, especially if your critically ill loved one is not falling under a government healthcare scheme and is privately insured or if you and your Family are self paying for your critically ill loved one’s treatment!
In any case, you want to know how many blood tests your critically ill loved one needs in a day, because knowledge is power and it’s always good and useful to have insights into the world of Intensive Care, especially if you are not a doctor or a nurse!
The more you know, the more power, influence and the more control you have about the destiny of your critically ill loved one and the more knowledge you have about critical illness in Intensive Care, the more in control you are and the less dependent you are that the Intensive Care team is making decisions that may or may not be in the best interest of your critically ill loved one!
Here’s what you need to know
As a rule of thumb critically ill Patients in Intensive Care have a full screening of their blood when they’re first admitted to Intensive Care and then they shouldn’t require blood tests more than once a day. This once daily blood tests are usually done in the early morning hours, usually between 4am to 7am. You will find more detailed information about Pathology(blood) tests in Intensive Care here https://intensivecarehotline.com/blood-pathology-tests-in-intensive-care/
Those blood tests are sent to the Pathology Laboratory and the results usually come back within a few hours.
There are exceptions to the rule in emergency situations
Of course there’s always the exception to the rule and you should know that if your critically ill loved one is in an emergency situation and extremely critically ill, you need to know that blood tests may be done more often than once a day and they may be done whenever the Intensive Care team needs to know things such as
- Haemoglobin(red blood cells in the blood, which is an indicator for bleeding if the number is low)
- Clotting factors(Coagulation) such as APTT, INR and Platelets to know whether the blood is too thick or too thin and therefore may cause bleeding(blood too thin) or clotting(blood too thick)
- White cell count and blood cultures if the Intensive Care team suspects an infection, as both tests will indicate whether your critically ill loved one has an infection
- Cardiac(Heart) markers such as Troponin and CK to indicate whether a Cardiac(Heart) event such as a heart attack has taken place
There are more blood tests done all day around in Intensive Care and here’s why
Even though, the routine blood tests are done once daily in the early morning hours to get a full screening of your critically loved one’s blood, generally speaking there are more and ongoing blood tests performed 24/7 in Intensive Care to address and assess the effectiveness of ongoing treatment of your critically ill loved one. This is especially important if your critically ill loved one is mechanically ventilated and has a breathing(endotracheal) tube.
Therefore a regular and ongoing assessment of your loved one’s arterial blood gases(ABG’s) is necessary. Your critically ill loved one is therefore having an Arterial Line inserted in either their wrist or their groin. It’s therefore easy and painless for the bedside nurse to take a blood sample and get an immediate result that will tell the Intensive Care team whether
- The ventilation therapy is effective as it indicates oxygenation levels in the blood and it also reads Carbon dioxide levels in the blood. Therefore ABG’s are regularly done before intubation and extubation to assess the effectiveness of your critically ill loved one’s breathing
- The ABG reading also shows results about Electrolytes in the blood such as Potassium, Sodium, Calcium- Electrolyte readings are important to know to maintain a healthy equilibrium in the blood for a normal heart function as abnormal Electrolytes can disturb normal heart function
- The ABG furthermore checks Blood sugar levels and they can often be abnormal in Intensive Care even though your critically ill loved one is not a Diabetic(blood sugar levels tend to be high in Intensive Care due to the stress response of the body)
- The ABG is often regularly done in critically ill Patients who require Hemodialysis or Renal replacement therapy for kidney failure
- The ABG is also done 2-3 hourly if your loved one has just come back from surgery or has invasive therapy such as ECMO
The Arterial blood gas(ABG) is easily and quickly performed and the results are available within less than 5 minutes and the Intensive Care team has a tendency to check the ABG many times a day. In critical and emergency situations those tests may be done every two hours or even more frequently. However if your critically ill loved one is stable, those ABG’s should only be necessary 3-5 times a day.
The Intensive Care team has a tendency to check bloods all the time
What you need to be aware of is that Intensive Care Unit’s definitely have a tendency to take more blood tests than necessary, as more often than not, the doctors and the nurses are virtually only a doorstep away from an Arterial Blood Gas(ABG) analyser in Intensive Care and also Doctors tend to order many Pathology(blood) tests and if they are in doubt whether a Blood test is really necessary, they will order one anyway.
So therefore, if you have any concerns you shouldn’t hesitate in asking those questions. In general you should always ask questions anyway and you should always make up your own mind about the situation your critically ill loved one is in whilst in Intensive Care, irrespective of whether you’re a doctor or a nurse.
You can do so by reading our blog and our “your questions answered” section. Here are a few related articles that will help you and your Family to maintain control, power and influence of your critically ill loved one’s destiny! Click on the articles so you can read them!
As a rule of thumb, you should never give your critically ill loved one’s destiny outside of your hands and you should make sure that you have the most power, control and influence there is. How do you do that?
How can you have PEACE OF MIND, control, power and influence 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!