This blog post was first published at our sister site INTENSIVECAREHOTLINE.COM a support and resources website for Families of critically ill Patients in Intensive Care
In this week, I want to shed some light on “how long can somebody stay in Intensive Care?” It’s a question that I get quite frequently and the answer in short is that it depends. However, many people working in Intensive Care have seen some Patients in ICU for more than 6 months and up to one year. That being said, it could well be that a Patient ends up staying for longer than 12 months and I have seen that as well.
The reality is that most high end Intensive Care Units in big metropolitan areas need to be able to look “after any Patient indefinitely” in order to be able to provide Intensive Care services at the highest level. This also means that in order to maintain their accreditation status, they need to be able to prove that they have the capacity, equipment and manpower to look “after any Patient indefinitely”.
The next question would then be, why would somebody need to stay in Intensive Care for so long?
Most critically ill Patients staying in Intensive Care long term are usually ventilator dependent with Tracheostomy. Ventilator dependency with Tracheostomy requires specialist skills that are usually only available in Intensive Care. Doctors and nurses need to be ventilator and Tracheostomy competent and nurses on a ward area are usually not trained to look after ventilator and Tracheostomies.
The big challenge and big question then remains, how long does it take to wean somebody off the ventilator? Is it possible at all?
Again, the answer to this question is “it depends”. It depends on a number of things, including but not limited to
– The Patients pre-medical history
– Family support
– Patient’s age
A long-term ventilated Patient can certainly be weaned off the ventilator, but it can be difficult and challenging and often, after a few failed weaning attempts, Patients and Families get frustrated and the Patients often get psychologically dependent on the ventilator. It is often a vicious cycle, where the ventilator dependency triggers depression and depression triggers the ventilator dependency.
The solution to the dilemma is often to think outside of the box. Imagine you’re in ICU for months on end and the only thing that’s keeping you there is the ventilator dependency. How frustrating of a situation is this for you and for your family. And often the Intensive Care unit lacks the skills and the ability to think outside of the box. Thank god, in countries like Australia, Germany, Canada and in parts of the united states, Intensive Home Care nursing services are available who enable long-term ventilated Adults& Children with Tracheostomy to go home as a genuine alternative to a long- term stay in Intensive Care. The main goal in those circumstances is to provide the long term ventilated Adult or Child with Tracheostomy and their Family with Quality of Life and/or Quality of end of life. Those Intensive Home Care services, exclusively work with critical care trained staff and therefore provide a genuine alternative to a long term stay in Intensive Care.
It furthermore helps hospitals and Intensive Care Units to free up valuable Intensive Care resources, generally freeing up a bed and staff. Both, the empty bed and the available staff can be used for more acutely unwell Patients.
Check out this link at https://intensivecareathome.com for more information about Intensive Home Care nursing and the opportunities that such services provide for long-term ventilated Adults and Children with Tracheostomy and their Families and for Intensive Care Units alike.
If you are reading this and your loved one happens to be long-term ventilated in Intensive Care we have provided FREE special reports for you. The reports you’ll get for FREE just by emailing your interest into those FREE reports to [email protected] or to [email protected] are
We have also more reports available such as “The 5 things you need to know if the medical team in Intensive Care wants to limit treatment, wants to withdraw treatment or wants to issue an NFR(not for resuscitation) order for your critically ill loved one in Intensive Care”
We have more FREE stuff, tailor made for you! If you haven’t subscribed to our FREE membership sign up now and you’ll get your FREE “INSTANT IMPACT” Report where you’ll discover how to take control and charge of your and your critically ill loved one’s situation without being reliant on the doctors and the nurses. You’ll know exactly what questions to ask and you’ll also discover how you need to manage yourself and others so that you can have real power and so that you can influence decision making! With your FREE “INSTANT IMPACT” report you’ll also get 4 other FREE reports and the reports you will be receiving are
- The 6 questions you need to ask the most senior doctor in Intensive Care
- 10 things you didn’t know doctors and nurses are talking about while you are not at the bedside with your loved one
- the 7 answers to the 7 most FAQ if your loved one is critically ill in Intensive Care
- 9 myths of being a critically ill Patient in Intensive Care
Thank you for tuning into this week’s blog and I’ll see you again in another update next week! Make sure you also check out our “your questions answered” section or send me an email to [email protected]
This is Patrik Hutzel from INTENSIVECAREHOTLINE.COM and I’ll see you again next week with another update!
For more information and to get your FREE “INSTANT IMPACT” Report visit INTENSIVECAREHOTLINE.COM