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 the answer to last week’s question by clicking on the link here.
In this week’s episode of “YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED” I want to answer another question from one of our readers and the question this week is
”MY PARTNER IS IN INTENSIVE CARE AFTER A BLEED ON A BRAIN! WE ARE WORRIED THAT THE INTENSIVE CARE TEAM WANTS TO SWITCH OFF THE VENTILATOR! HELP!”
Andy from the UK writes
My partner is 44 she had a brain bleed and she is also a dialysis Patient and has been for about 2 years.
She is on the ICU and is being assessed on the Glasgow point system she raises her hand to command most of the time and squeezes a hand.
Also, she has only today and for a split second only opened her eyes but not to command.
We are worried that the Intensive Care team is looking to switch the ventilator off!
All was looking good on last Wednesday when we talked with the Intensive Care team, but Thursday out of the blue a Neuro doctor told us that there was a pin size area on her brain stem damaged, which means she is highly unlikely to wake up!
The brain bleed was on 10/12/2014 and my partner was rushed to hospital and operated on that night following deterioration.
She still has the tube down her throat and has only had a CT scan before the op and again last Wednesday.
Also she has been on treatment for an infection, could this be a factor? I’m not sure what to ask but any advice would be appreciated.
Also do you know about the area on the brain stem being talked about or where we can find information to help us?
thank you for making contact!
I am very sorry to hear what you and your partner are currently going through!
Head and brain injuries, including spontaneous bleeds on the brain can be some of the nastiest diseases one can ever encounter in Intensive Care!
And rule number one is, do not give up irrespective of what the Intensive Care team is telling you!
Your biggest challenge from what I can see is to see any positive signs, as you have only had negative and challenging news so far!
As a first step I would strongly recommend to work on your mindset, which needs to be more positive! This can be challenging, especially when you are facing such devastating and challenging news like you have in the last few days!
Here is a link to an article that will help you to stay focused and positive!
Next, you need to stop buying into the mindset of the Intensive Care team who is talking about “switching off the ventilator”!
It sounds to me like you are half way there anyway, because otherwise you wouldn’t be reaching out for help and you wouldn’t be doing your own research!
Also, as it relates to the Neurology or Neurosurgery team who is referring to a “pin size area on her brain stem damaged, which means she is highly unlikely to wake up!”, you should be solely focusing on the positive signs in your situation which is that your partner has had her eyes open, even if only for a split second.
Critically ill Patients after head or brain injuries, including spontaneous bleeds on the brain, who have been in an induced coma, can take a very long time to “wake up”.
Critically ill Patients with severe head or brain injuries, including spontaneous bleeds on the brain tend to take a lot longer until one might see signs of “waking up”!
Therefore Intensive Care teams tend to be quick to point out that “switching off the ventilator” or in other words a “limitation of treatment” or a “withdrawal of treatment” might be “IN THE BEST INTEREST” of your partner!
This is ludicrous from my perspective given the young age of your partner! The Intensive Care team should move “heaven and earth” to get your partner out of Intensive Care alive and send her to rehab, period!
The positioning of the Intensive Care team in those challenging and also “ONCE IN A LIFETIME” situations is more often than not a direct result of what’s happening “BEHIND THE SCENES” in Intensive Care!
What’s happening “BEHIND THE SCENES” in Intensive Care is often by far more powerful and by far more important for the Intensive Care team than what’s happening clinically!
Especially when it comes to severe head or brain injuries, including spontaneous bleeds on the brain, the Intensive Care team knows that the road to recovery can be a lengthy road and therefore the overarching interests of the Intensive Care team such as
- Their financial interests, I.e. if they continue treating your critically ill loved one for their bleed on the brain with an uncertain outcome, the Intensive Care team may want to protect their financial interests and therefore “sell” you and your family on a “withdrawal of treatment” or a “limitation of treatment” as being “IN THE BEST INTEREST” of your critically ill loved one, in order to protect their financial interests and use the resources for other Patients where they think they can make money and/or meet their budget targets
- Their bed management strategies, such as when they are facing a high demand on their precious, scarce, expensive and “in demand” Intensive Care beds, the Intensive Care team often wants to give preference to critically ill Patients who don’t end up in ICU long-term! Patients with spontaneous bleeds on the brain can often have an increased length of stay in Intensive Care and therefore potentially “block beds” in ICU
- The politics, the hierarchy, the power play and power struggles, the dynamics, the competing interests, the intrigue and the psychology in Intensive Care often have a massive impact on how the Intensive Care team is positioning your critically ill loved one’s diagnosis and prognosis!
- The medical research interests, i.e. is your partner falling into a medical research category, where the Intensive Care team can conduct medical research that attracts multi- Million Dollar $$$ funding per year? If your partner doesn’t fall into a medical research category then the Intensive Care team might be quick in pointing out that “switching off the ventilator” might be “IN THE BEST INTEREST” of your critically ill loved one without disclosing their real interests!
- Their reluctance to make the emotional commitment to invest fully into your partners recovery in Intensive Care! Getting critically ill Patients with severe head or brain injuries, including spontaneous bleeds on their way to recovery can often take considerable physical and emotional resources! Depending on the culture of the Intensive Care team or the culture in the Intensive Care unit, they may not be prepared to “invest” their physical and emotional resources! You therefore need to be prepared to stand your ground, irrespective of the agenda the Intensive Care team is driving!
- 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!
- CONTROL, POWER, INFLUENCE AND PEACE OF MIND EVEN IN THE MOST CHALLENGING OF CIRCUMSTANCES THAT YOU, YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR CRITICALLY ILL LOVED ONE COULD FACE IN INTENSIVE CARE
As it relates to your question about your partners brain stem and the “pin size area on her brain stem damaged, which means she is highly unlikely to wake up!”, which the Neuro team has been referring to.
I am not a doctor and I am not medically qualified, so I can’t answer your question as it relates to the brain stem, however your biggest leverage point thus far is to look at your partner having opened her eyes! This is what you should be basing your judgement upon!
What’s also incredibly important for you to know is that whenever the Intensive Care team is suggesting a “withdrawal of treatment” or a “withdrawal of life support” as being “IN THE BEST INTEREST” of your critically ill loved one, it’s often a very short sighted view and it only focuses on their specialist and limited views about Intensive Care!
Intensive Care team are the specialists about Intensive Care but they are no specialists about what’s happening outside Intensive Care! The minute a Patient leaves Intensive Care, Intensive Care teams have no idea what’s happening from there!
Therefore, the Intensive Care team’s view is a perception about what might be happening outside of Intensive Care!
Your job may well be to talk to the Neurosurgeons or Neurology in order to find out Rehabilitation opportunities for your partner! You may have to bypass the Intensive Care team and take matters in your own hands and you may have to look further in order to also show the Intensive Care team that you are prepared “to do whatever it takes” to get your critically ill loved one out of Intensive Care!
Don’t buy into the “doom and gloom” of the Intensive Care team!
Here are also some articles that will further help you
- The 5 questions you need to ask when the Intensive Care team is talking about “Futility of treatment”, “Withdrawal of life support” or about “Withdrawal of treatment”!
Also check out this question from one of our readers who has been in a similar situation
I hope that helps Andy! Please let me know if you have anymore questions!
Wishing you and your partner the very best!
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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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!