Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from INTENSIVECAREHOTLINE.COM where we instantly improve the lives for Families of critically ill Patients in Intensive Care, so that you can make informed decisions, 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 the next question from one of our clients which are excerpts from 1:1 phone/Skype counselling and consulting sessions with me and the question this week is
My Mom had a cardiac arrest with a hypoxic brain injury! She’s not “waking up” and the doctors want to pull the plug! Help! (PART1)
Bree describes her mother’s situation as follows.
my mom was taken to Intensive Care after she had a cardiac arrest at home. The paramedics came late, it took them about 30 minutes to get to my mom’s home.
She is breathing thank god, however she is not responding to stimuli.
Do you think she’s she going to make it?
How can we help her survive her or what kind of treatment should we give her?
The doctors have not induced her into a coma, she’s just lying there without any movement.
Tomorrow the ICU doctors are wanting to take her off the ventilator and “pull the plug”. Then she will be breathing on her own until God decides to take her.
I have seen her and talked to her every day. I have hold her hands. She has a pulse. Her body is warm.
She was diagnosed with cardiac arrest and respiratory lack of oxygen. Can she be cured?
Will she recognize me? I’m one of her concerned daughters.
My mother is 84 years old. I do think severe brain damage can be healed given time.
My mom fell a couple of times over the last year and therefore she was in a wheelchair. My sister had just finished helping my mom when she went into respiratory arrest. My sister called 911 and gave mom CPR.
The Paramedics finally came to continue the process. Then she had the cardiac arrest. I want her to recover soon.
I know she will with advancement in medicine.
The doctors said she may be in a vegetative state which I don’t agree with because it’s only been about 10 days since she’s been to ICU.
Her CT scan of the brain shows little damages and according to the doctors her heart is in good shape considering she had a cardiac arrest. They talked about doing a tracheostomy but it will hurt her breathing.
When I visited my mother today, me and my siblings had a meeting with Dr. A Smith.
The Doctor informed us that my mother’s heart is in good condition and her brain too. It does have some damage due to lack of oxygen. Her brain was without oxygen for up to 15 minutes.
The doctor is rushing us to get her off the ventilator, “pull the plug” or do a tracheostomy.
The doctor wrote the letter so take it to the judge to unplug the ventilator. My sister is afraid that mom becomes a vegetable with 24/7 caring. We are debating. They have chest X-rays every day. She is not responding. Will she ever respond?
Thanks for your email and thank you for being a client and for using my 1:1 phone/Skype counselling and consulting service!
First of all, you are absolutely correct to say that your mother will need time in order to recover if she can.
Most critically ill Patients with severe head or brain injuries will need time to recover!
Yes, your mother may have had time without sufficient oxygen to the brain and yes, she may have sustained some brain damage, but she still will need time for you to see what she will be capable of doing.
Here is a link to an article/video that will help you clarify further some of your questions and concerns (click on the link)
- What is the prognosis after my critically ill loved one’s brain has not had sufficient oxygen supply(hypoxic brain injury)?
There is a good chance that the doctors don’t want her recovery, because the worst case scenario from an Intensive Care perspective is always a bed block.
It means that if they give your mother the time she will need to recover in her own time, she most likely will block a bed in Intensive Care and Hospitals and Intensive Care Units don’t want that.
Intensive Care beds are in huge demand, therefore a critically ill Patient who’s blocking a bed is not in the interest of an Intensive Care Unit!
Also, you need to look at the level of support she’s needing.
You mentioned that she’s on a breathing tube and the ventilator and you said her heart is strong. Therefore I assume she’s not on any inotropes/vasopressors (=blood pressure medication) that’s supporting her heart!
If she had multiple forms of life support, like the inotropes/vasopressors for low blood pressure and/or a weak and decompensated heart the Intensive Care team would have a stronger argument to take your mother off life support and letting her die.
I therefore wouldn’t rush into taking her off life support.
Why are they in a hurry to take her off life support?
Are they worried about the cost or do they need the bed???
You need to start asking the right questions in order to get to the right answers.
Also, you need to start managing the negativity of the Intensive Care team and the Intensive Care doctors in particular.
How do you do that.
First of all, you need to stay positive no matter what.
No matter the outcome, you need to stay positive. Even if the outcome is negative, it’ll still serve you to have a positive outlook.
Think about it, what would you rather do?
Be positive and have a negative outcome or would you rather be negative and have a negative outcome?
I know which one I would choose…
- 5 POWERFUL THINGS YOU NEED TO DO IF THE INTENSIVE CARE TEAM IS NEGATIVE WHEN YOUR LOVED ONE IS CRITICALLY ILL IN INTENSIVE CARE!
By the information you have shared, yes your mother has brain damage, but they are also suggesting that it’s not severe brain damage.
Again, it’s another reason to give your mother the time she will need in order to recover in her own time.
There is still time to look at alternatives if your mother doesn’t recover after she has been given the time she needs.
I’m talking about weeks and sometimes months, that’s a reasonable time frame.
I have written about this extensively in this resource here
- 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 OR IF THE INTENSIVE CARE TEAM IS SUGGESTING A POOR PROGNOSIS OR EVEN WORSE, IF THE INTENSIVE CARE TEAM SUGGESTS A “WITHDRAWAL OF TREATMENT” OR A “LIMITATION OF TREATMENT!
Unless they have told you that she has severe brain damage she should be given time to heal and rest.
Also, if they are so adamant to withdraw treatment (or “pulling the plug”) as you have mentioned, why would they do a chest x-ray daily if they were trying and withdraw treatment?
That’s contradictory and it doesn’t add up as far as I’m concerned.
Unless they do a tracheostomy you’ll never know if she’ll wake up.
The reason she will need a tracheostomy are manyfold and are mainly to protect her airway why she’s still in a coma and not “waking up”.
Here are some articles/videos when and why to do a tracheostomy
And again, most importantly a tracheostomy will buy your mother the time she will need in order to “wake up” and recover in her own time.
She will need time, nurturing, good nursing care and a positive environment for this to occur.
Moreover, you’ve mentioned repeatedly that the ICU doctor is adamant about wanting to withdraw treatment.
Many families are finding themselves in this unfortunate situation and predicament and they can’t see it coming.
Most families of critically ill Patients in Intensive Care believe that Intensive Care teams are always prepared to do “whatever it takes” in order to get their loved ones to survive and they are finding themselves bitterly disappointed when they see that the opposite is true.
The only effective way to counteract the Intensive Care team’s positioning of wanting to withdraw treatment is to do your own research and engage a consultant and advocate like myself who can argue on the same level than the Intensive Care doctors.
If you are unprepared for such a discussion and you don’t know the ins and outs and if you don’t know how to position your Mom’s diagnosis and her prognosis, you will fight a losing battle just like 99% of the families of critically ill Patients in Intensive Care are fighting…
The good news now is that you are now gathering information and you are now in the middle of getting a crash course about how to position your mother’s diagnosis, her prognosis as well as her care and treatment!
That’s the only way forward!
Furthermore, given that you are in the United States, the Intensive Care team can’t just remove life support without your and your family’s consent.
Intensive Care teams often suggest otherwise, but if you went to court- like many families have done- the courts are almost always ruling in your favour.
Withdrawing life support and letting people die without seeking consent and agreement from a medical power of attorney like yourself is murder as far as I’m concerned.
- THE 5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW IF THE MEDICAL TEAM IN INTENSIVE CARE WANTS TO “LIMIT TREATMENT”, WANTS TO “WITHDRAW TREATMENT”, “WITHDRAW LIFE SUPPORT” OR WANTS TO ISSUE A “DNR” (DO NOT RESUSCITATE) OR “NFR” (NOT FOR RESUSCITATION) ORDER FOR YOUR CRITICALLY ILL LOVED ONE!
Moreover, you haven’t given this situation any meaning and the reality is that if you don’t attribute any meaning to this situation, the Intensive Care team will do it for you.
Their meaning of this situation is going to be vastly different from your meaning and once again, it all boils down to you getting to position your mom’s diagnosis, her prognosis as well as her care and her treatment!
You will also need to change your demeanour and body language. What do I mean by that?
Now that we have spoken on the phone a few times, I do believe you are intimidated by the Intensive Care team and you need to change it.
The minute you stop being intimidated things will change for you.
How do you stop being intimidated?
- You change your body language to begin with
- WHY YOUR BODY LANGUAGE MAY BE YOUR BIGGEST OBSTACLE TO PEACE OF MIND, CONTROL, POWER AND INFLUENCE WHILST YOUR LOVED ONE IS CRITICALLY ILL IN INTENSIVE CARE
- You change your style of communication with the Intensive Care team
How do you do that?
Instead of the Intensive Care doctors telling you when to attend to a family meeting, you will ask them in no uncertain terms what you want, expect and demand.
99% of the families of critically ill Patients in Intensive Care don’t do that because they are intimidated and therefore they make no informed decisions, have no peace of mind, no control, no power and no influence!
It’s all in your hands and in your head.
Keep asking the right questions and don’t take “no” for an answer. It makes all the difference!
How can you become the best advocate for your critically ill loved one, make informed decisions, get 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 making informed decisions, get 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 make informed decisions, 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 mind blowing tips& strategies helping you to get on the right path to making informed decisions, get 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 episode and I’ll see you again in another update next week!
Or you can call us! Find phone numbers on our contact tab.
Also check out our Ebook section where you get more Ebooks, Videos and Audio recordings and where you can also get 1:1 counselling/consulting with me via Skype, over the phone or via email by clicking on the products tab!
This is Patrik Hutzel from INTENSIVECAREHOTLINE.COM and I’ll see you again next week with another update!
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