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This blog post was first published at our sister site INTENSIVECAREHOTLINE.COM a resource and support website for Families of critically ill Patients in Intensive Care.
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 real power, real control and so that you can influence decision making, even if you’re not a doctor or a nurse in Intensive Care!
This is another episode of “your questions answered” and in this week’s episode I want to answer one of the most frequent questions that we get from our readers and the question is “how long does it take to wake up from a Traumatic brain injury or severe head injury?”
Chances are that if you have come to this blog that you are looking for answers for your critically ill loved one in Intensive Care, who is not waking up after he or she sustained a severe head injury or a Traumatic brain injury. Your critically ill loved one may have sustained a severe head or brain injury after a car accident, a bike accident or after a fall or he or she may have had a stroke or a brain tumour. Technically, strokes or brain tumours don’t necessarily fall into the category of Traumatic brain injuries or severe head injuries, but Patients display similar symptoms and they often require similar lengthy periods to “wake up” or to recover.
The most important thing you need to know if your critically ill loved one in Intensive Care is not waking up after a Traumatic brain injury or after a severe head injury is that this is often normal and it is also often a lengthy and at times difficult process for your loved one to “wake up”. Waking up in Intensive Care is rarely a linear or straight forward process, let alone after a traumatic brain injury or after a severe head injury. If there is anything I would compare it to, it’s like switching on a light with a “dimmer switch”, where the lights go on gradually and slowly.
There are a few things you need to know if your loved one has sustained a severe head injury or traumatic brain injury.
Keep in mind at all times that
• The brain has a life on its own and can unlike many other organs(liver, heart, lungs and kidneys) not be controlled
• Your loved one was very likely sedated with some “heavy gun medication” such as Midazolam, Fentanyl or Morphine and maybe even Thiopentone. Those drugs all take a long time to get out of your loved one’s body system and therefore delay the ‘waking up’ process
• Your loved one will take their own time to “wake up”, even if it takes many days, weeks or even months, therefore it is difficult to put an absolute number on the time it takes for your loved one to wake up
• The level of initial “drowsiness” or “dizziness” does not give any indication how long it will take your loved one to wake up
• The Intensive Care team maybe painting a “doom and gloom” picture and therefore they may have a negative outlook for your critically ill loved one, which may not be in the best interest for your critically ill loved one
• The negative outlook of the Intensive Care team may stand in the way of your loved one’s recovery
• You must be optimistic at all times
• You must follow your gut feeling
• You must look “behind the scenes” in an Intensive Care Unit and understand the moving parts and how it may directly impact on your critically ill loved one’s care he or she may be or may not be receiving
• The Intensive Care Unit’s financial budget and other competing interests such as other admissions awaiting an ICU bed might be directly related to the prognosis the Intensive Care team is telling you
• The Intensive Care team may have a limited mindset and they may not be willing to put the time, the effort, the resources and the believe forward that it takes to get your critically ill loved one out of his or her difficult situation
• Time is a natural healer and given the time, the resources, the effort and the believe, your critically ill loved one will get better
In 15 years Intensive Care Nursing experience, I have worked in some Critical Care Units where the Intensive Care team allowed for Patients to wake up in their own time, even it took many weeks or many months. Those Intensive Care Units didn’t have a limited mindset, they had a positive culture and they believed that time is a healer in and of itself.
Other Intensive Care Units had a very negative mindset and a negative culture and they often saw competing interests in having a Patient who is not waking up after critical illness such as traumatic brain injury or severe head injury occupying an expensive and scarce ICU bed and the Intensive Care team in those Units often painted a bleak, doom and gloom picture that directly or indirectly went hand in hand with a negative and limited prognosis. I have written a blog post about culture in Intensive Care and how it impacts on Patient care here http://intensivecarehotline.com/what-the-doctors-and-the-nurses-behaviour-in-intensive-care-is-telling-you-about-the-culture-in-a-unit/
It is therefore absolutely critical that you as your critically ill loved one’s immediate Family member that you directly influence decision making by having control, power and influence!
You’ll get immediate control, power and influence if you download your FREE “INSTANT IMPACT” REPORT NOW. In the 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 this free report you’ll also discover
• how to ask the doctors and the nurses the right questions
• 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 control, power and influence in your situation
• you’ll get crucial ‘behind the scenes’ insight so that you 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)
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 “blog” 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