Hi it’s Patrik Hutzel from INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME where we provide tailor made solutions for long-term ventilated Adults & Children with Tracheostomies and where we also provide tailor made solutions for hospitals and Intensive Care Units whilst providing quality services for long-term ventilated patients and medically complex patients at home.
In last week’s blog, I talked about,
You can check out last week’s blog by clicking on the link below this video:
In today’s blog post, I want to answer a question from one of our clients and the question today is
My Mom Can’t Be Weaned off the Ventilator in ICU. Can Intensive Care at Home Help Us to Bring Her Home?
My mother is 76 and she’s in intensive care. She was intubated for pneumonia and she ended up with a tracheostomy after about two weeks of ventilation with a breathing tube. The pneumonia got cleared with antibiotics, but she was in an induced coma and sedated for almost two weeks. That’s how long it took to get the pneumonia cleared. And then when she woke up, she was too weak to breathe by herself and to be extubated. Hence, the decision was made for her to have a tracheostomy.
After that for a whole week, they seem to overload her with saline solution without giving her Lasix for her kidney disease. On top of that, my mom has AF (atrial fibrillation) and therefore has a weak heart. Her kidneys stopped and then she ended up on dialysis for the AF. She had Amiodarone, which seemed to slow, at least a heart rate down, but she’s still not back in a regular heart rhythm.
After the 14 days on intubation ran out and we were told she has to have the tracheostomy and they told us she would then to be weaned. But now it’s been a month and they’re saying that she’s too old, weak and not responsive enough. You can fill in the blank. It always comes back to age that even though she was active before this and lived a very good quality of life.
I finally got them to check her anemia. It was half of what it should have normally been. So blood transfusions brought her blood pressure back up and they were able to wean off the vasopressors and the inotropes.
She also had a UTI, I believe, but the ICU team swore she didn’t have a UTI, even though she had a large one now being treated with Bactrim. It’s getting worse. After two months in ICU, her lungs are infected again. I have been told three times this week that she probably can’t be weaned, even though she wants to be, she is now alert and she can communicate with me on a piece of paper, write things down. She definitely has the will, but being bedridden for two months, clearly isn’t helping.
We are in Sydney, Australia, and we want to bring my mom home. How do we go about it?
Thank you so much for your email and inquiry.
Katrina, the best way forward for your mom is really Intensive Care at Home. Get her out of ICU after two months in there. It sounds like a situation like many of our other clients that are stuck in ICU and we can help them to go home. Weaning can be done at home. She just needs to be off the inotropes and the vasopressors ideally. We can do blood transfusions at home. But it would be ideal if she was off the inotropes and vasopressors. But other than that, we can start mobilizing your mom at home. It’ll be such a better environment. The other challenge that I can see is that, if you’re not getting her home, they might eventually send her to a hospital ward and on the hospital ward, she won’t get the ICU care that she will need as long as she’s on a ventilator with a tracheostomy.
So therefore it is imperative for you to get the ball rolling and talk to us and start looking at home care options. So for example, your mom at 76, won’t qualify for the NDIS, but she should qualify for hospital in the home options. And again, you should be starting the discussions with the hospital, as well as with us here at Intensive Care at Home. At the end of the day, all we want to do is we want to provide a win-win situation for everyone and the win is for you and your mom to go home. Win is for the ICU to have an empty bed. And the win is also for the hospital and for the ICU to cut the cost of the bed by 50% by going home.
So as you can see, it makes sense all around to get your mom home as soon as possible. And you will see that your mom’s will to live at home will improve because she won’t be in a sterile and intensive care environment where she doesn’t have any quality of life. At home, we can focus on getting a stable team, having the same people work with your mom over and over again, making sure she can get weaned, making sure she can get mobilized, making sure she has quality of life at home with her family, with you and other family members. That’s the goal for your mom in this situation, and we can help you with that.
So let’s look at the next steps, contact me, and then we can go from there. Take care.
Now, if you have a loved one in intensive care and you want to go home with our service intensive care at home and if you want to find out how to get funding for our service and how it all works, please contact us on one of the numbers on the top of our website, or send me an email to [email protected]. That’s Patrik, just with a K at the end.
Please also have a look at our case studies because there we highlight more about what we can do for clients, how clients can live at home with ventilation and tracheostomies and you can look at our case studies as well at our service section
And if you are at home already and you need support for your critically ill loved one at home, and you have insufficient support or insufficient funding, please contact us as well. We can help you with all of that.
And if you are an intensive care nurse or a pediatric intensive care nurse with a minimom of two years, ICU or pediatric ICU experience, and you ideally have a critical care certificate, please contact us as well. Check out our career section on our website. We are currently hiring ICU and pediatric ICU nurses for clients in the Melbourne metropolitan area, Northern suburbs, Mornington Peninsula, Frankston area, South Gippsland, as well as Wollongong in New South Wales.
So we are also an NDIS, TAC (Victoria) and DVA (Department of Veteran affairs) approved community service provider in Australia. Also have a look at our range of full service provisions.
Also, we have been part of the Royal Melbourne health accelerator program in the past for innovative healthcare companies.
Thank you for watching this video and thank you for tuning into this week’s blog.
This is Patrik from intensive care at home, and I’ll see you again next week in another update.