Hi it’s Patrik Hutzel from INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME where we provide tailor made solutions for long-term ventilated Adults & Children with Tracheostomies 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
Today I want to answer and other questions from one of our readers, Katie.
My 15 year old daughter has been in PICU since October last year. She can’t come off the ventilator & tracheostomy. I want her home, please help!
So Katie sent an email and she writes in,
my 15 year old daughter, Jessie has been in the pediatric intensive care unit since October, 2019 due to a seizure emergency colon surgery, pneumonia, blood clots and eventual tracheostomy.
We are trying to get her home but she will need to be on a ventilator 24 hours a day, seven days a week. She also has tracheostomy and bronchial malacia.
I would like to know what areas in Australia do you provide services in? We are in Sydney.
Also, what types of insurance do you accept or who is paying for the service,
because we can’t afford to pay for it privately.
The hospital doesn’t seem to be of much help for us with who’s going to pay for the service. When we’re at home Jessie suffers from a rare disease called mucopolysaccharidosis. This is a disease that is characterised by the body’s inability to make a specific enzyme. It is a progressive disease that currently has no cure. The doctors just feel that the Tracheomalacia in her airway is the direct consequence of her having the mucopolysaccharidos.
Jessie was also intubated in October and didn’t receive her tracheostomy until November. Please help us. We can’t stay in the pediatric ICU forever. Many thanks from Katie.
thank you Katie for writing in and for sharing your daughter’s situation.
So number one, we are providing services in Sydney, there is no issue around location. We are providing services outside of the big metropolitan areas, Sydney and Melbourne in country Victoria for example, or country in new South Wales.
And we can also provide services or we are providing in Sydney. So metropolitan areas obviously are much easier for us than the rural or country areas.
So there’s no issue there.
In terms of your daughter being in the pediatric ICU since October last year, there is no issue from our end taking her home as long as she’s not on inotropes or vasopressors. You haven’t mentioned any of that.
And I think it’s very unlikely that she is still on inotropes or vasopressors. So going home with a tracheostomy and ventilation even though she needs to be ventilated 24 hours a day, that’s bread and butter for us.
Why is it bread and butter for us? Well, we are all intensive care nurses with a minimum of two years ICU experience. As a matter of fac, our average ICU nurse has more than eight to 10 years ICU experience and they, you know, over 70% of our staff, have completed an ICU or a pediatric ICU critical care certificate.
So we employ highly skilled and highly experienced people, with decades of intensive care as well as pediatric intensive care experience.
And with that, you know, we can provide a 24 hour roster for your daughter at home. That’s what we do with all of our clients. Again, that is bread and butter for us and therefore we can provide an intensive care or in this case a pediatric intensive care substitution service for your daughter and take her home and look after her 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Also many of our intensive care nurses have pediatric intensive care nursing experience and you know, you’ll find again a highly skilled nursing team here at intensive care at home.
As a matter of fact, we’re employing hundreds of years intensive care and pediatric intensive care nursing experience combined and we have many years of intensive home care nursing experience.
So your daughter will be in the best of hands with our service and with, with our highly experienced team.
When it comes to funding Katie, there are a number of avenues now in how the service is and can be funded in the community.
Number one, the intensive care unit or the pediatric intensive care unit has an interest in freeing up their ICU beds because the demand on ICU/PICU bed is simply very high. Not only is the demand very high, the cost is enormous. For an intensive care bed, we’re talking about $5,000 to $6,000 per bed day.
And on top of that, if the ICU bed is occupied for longer than necessary, and in this instance it is occupied for longer than necessary because she could have gone home already with our service.
But with what I refer to here, it’s more or less bed blocks in ICU or in the pediatric ICU, which means surgery might have to be canceled. Waiting lists are getting longer.
Maybe the emergency department needs to be bypassed by some patients because there are no ICU beds. So the hospital definitely has an interest in freeing up the ICU beds. And on top of that, we’re cutting the cost of an intensive care bed by around 50%, because that’s what happens.
One, when somebody goes home, leaves intensive care with our service, the cost reduces to about 50% of an intensive care bed and you’d get similar care at home with intensive care and paediatric intensive care nurses than she gets at the moment in ICU in the hospital.
So therefore hospitals have a big interest in engaging our service and potentially even paying for it under a hospital in the home type model. That’s one avenue of funding. The other avenue of funding, which a lot of our clients are tapping into is the NDIS or the national disability insurance scheme. So the NDIS is funding nursing care as well or up to 24 hour nursing care as well.
And that is another funding avenue. So there are ways forward for you Katie.
As a next step I would really urge you to contact me,on the website or just give me a call on our numbers on the website. Just give us a call in our Sydney branch or give me a call on my mobile number 041 094 2230
Oh and then I can talk you through it in more detail, how we can help you get your daughter Jessie home as quickly as possible. I can only imagine, that the quality of life for your daughter and for yourself and for your family is very poor at the moment because there is no quality of life in intensive care.
For example, Katie, with some of our other clients at your daughter’s age, we take them to school, right? Even though they’re on a ventilator. Again, that’s part of our specialist skills. We don’t stop by taking patients home from ICU/PICU. That’s just a starting point. Once our clients are at home, we can go back and try to bring normality to their lives, you know, get them to school, get them back to university, whatever, you know, our clients want to do to improve their quality of life.
We try and make things happen for them. Again, the 24 hour intensive nursing care roster will help with that because we can, you know, handle any situation really anywhere outside of ICU/PICU.
We have or organise all the right equipment. We know what equipment we need for a ventilated teenager, you know, and make it really safe for your daughter and for your family. So I hope that helps.
Katie, thanks again for writing in, best if you give me a call next.
So if you want to find out how we can help you or your loved one to get out of intensive care, including palliative care or long term acute care or even out of a nursing home, or if you find that you have insufficient support for your loved one at home on a ventilator with the tracheostomy or even on BiPAP or on home TPN, I know we can help you very, very fast.
And if you want to know how to get funding for our service, again, please contact me, via email, [email protected] or call me on 041 094 2230
Also, if you are in intensive care nurse or a pediatric intensive care nurse, check out our career section.
We have multiple options for ICU and pediatric ICU nurses.
Also, have a look at our full list of service provisions on our service section.
Services include Ventilation and tracheostomy clients at home we are also looking after clients at home on BiPAP or CPAP, high flow nasal prongs, or high flow oxygen as well as home TPN.
We have also been part of the Royal Melbourne health accelerator program in the past for innovative healthcare companies. Thank you for tuning into this week’s blog. This is Patrik Hutzel from intensive care at home, and I’ll talk to you next week. Take care.