Hi it’s Patrik Hutzel from INTENSIVECAREATHOME.COM.AU where we provide tailor made solutions for long-term ventilated Adults& Children with Tracheostomy by improving their Quality of life and where we also provide tailor made solutions to hospitals and Intensive Care Units to save money and resources, whilst providing Quality Care!
In last week’s blog I talked about
You can check out last week’s BLOG here!
In this week’s BLOG I want to talk about
“CAN CRITICALLY ILL PATIENTS ON A VENTILATOR GO HOME TO DIE?”
There are very few environments where people are as close to death and dying as in Intensive Care.
Even though the vast majority (>90%) of critically ill Patients leave Intensive Care alive, people working in Intensive Care and Families who have lost a loved one are almost always touched by a death in ICU!
It’s a very emotional experience for both, health professionals and families!
And yet, we have all seen critically ill Patients on ventilators with tracheostomies who sometimes approach their end of life over many weeks or many months, where the end of life situation is less than ideal and has massive room for improvement!
In many of those situations death should neither be hastened nor should it be delayed!
However the question remains whether Intensive Care is the right environment if a critically ill Patient is approaching their end of life on a ventilator with tracheostomy over sometimesmany weeks and many months?
Recent surveys done by Palliative Care Australia have revealed that 75% of the Australian population want to die at home if given the choice and yet less than 20% of the Australian population actually die at home!
It appears to be a gross mismatch if the proportion is 20% to 75%, which means that health services are not giving the vast majority of their consumers what they want!
It also means that society at large is not getting what they want at the end of their lives!
This is even more concerning, given the fact that we only die once and that our families have to live with the memories of their loved one’s death!
And out of all places Intensive Care is not the right place to die!
Are Intensive Care Units operating in a vacuum?
So we know the compelling stats of the surveys that have revealed that health services are not paying any attention to people’s wishes when dealing with their death!
But even more important, I’m really wondering whether Intensive Care Units operate in a vacuum?
The ”Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society” (Anzics) has published in their latest statement from their 2014 edition about
“ANZICS Statement on Care and Decision-Making at the End of Life for the Critically Ill”
That Patients, Families, as well as health professionals in Intensive Care should
“have choice and control over where death occurs” (page 121 of the ANZICS statement)
And yet, in reality this is hardly more than a lip service, as very few Intensive Care Units and very few Intensive Care health professionals are prepared to step outside of their comfort zone!
That comfort zone looks incredibly familiar to a sterile, limiting and inhibiting Intensive Care environment that is certainly the right environment for a critically ill Patient in need of acute care and is not the right environment for a Patient who is dying!
Customer service is all about creating win-win situations and if a Patient in Intensive Care on a ventilator and their family wants to have them approach their end of life at home instead of a sterile, limiting and inhibiting Intensive Care environment then their wishes should be granted!
The upside is huge!
We can give people what they really want and we can save huge sums of wasted tax payers money for an expensive, precious and “in-demand” Intensive Care bed and provide compassionate Intensive home care instead!
That empty Intensive Care bed can be used for somebody who is critically ill and who wants to leave Intensive Care alive!
What are your thoughts?
Are Intensive Care Units operating in a vacuum when it comes to end of life situations for ventilated Patients with tracheostomies?
How do you think we can give people what they want?
Leave your comments on the blog!
Please also note that INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME has been selected as a preferred provider for Queensland Health Services as part of the recent “Hospital in the Home” tender.
We are also currently hiring enthusiastic and experienced Intensive Care nurses with Critical Care certificate for a ventilated Melbourne Client, close to the CBD. For more information check out our Career section here www.intensivecareathome.com.au/careers or contact Patrik on 041 094 2230
You can also contact me on 041 094 2230 if you want to know more about how we can help you, your Intensive Care Unit and your Patients and Families.
Thank you for tuning into this week’s blog.
This is Patrik Hutzel from www.intensivecareathome.com.au and I’ll see you again in another update next week.