Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel, from INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME, where we provide tailor made solutions for long term ventilated adults and 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 by providing quality care.
In last week’s blog I answered another question that we get quite frequently from our readers.
And the question last week was
You can check out last week’s question by clicking on the link here.
In today’s question I want to answer a question from Charlie and Charlie asks
My mum has been in intensive care for three months. She’s on a ventilator with a tracheostomy after a cardiac arrest. Can she go home and be weaned off the ventilator at home instead of in intensive care?
So Charlie writes
my mother is in intensive care and she has been in intensive care for the last three months.
The doctors are saying she’s doing okay, but the progress is very slow. And they’re saying that she might be in intensive care for the next three months or even for longer until she can get weaned off the ventilator.
So we are wondering whether she can go home on a ventilator.
Now, my mother had a cardiac arrest.
She now has atrial fibrillation (AF) since she had the cardiac arrest.
Initially she went to hospital for a broken hip and then overnight she actually had a cardiac arrest and she was resuscitated. And she came back after about eight minutes of cardiac compressions and resuscitation. Thankfully the brain MRI came back with no damage and she has been initially in a coma for about 10 days.
And when she woke up, they did a tracheostomy and now she’s having problems in weaning off the ventilator, probably also because of pain issues, because initially she had some fractured ribs after the CPR and she’s now very weak and she’s probably traumatized by all the events in the last few weeks and months.
So really my question is can we wean her at home with intensive care at home instead of leaving her in intensive care for the next few months, which is pretty much what the ICU is suggesting.
On the other hand, ICU has been suggesting that another way to deal with this situation is to “let her go and let her die and let nature take its course.”
Now, given that my mother is only 60 years of age, we want her to live and she wants to live. We also think that our mother feels very lonely and that again, she’s traumatised by being in ICU for so long and waking up now and slowly realizing of what is happening.
So the question really is how quickly can we take her home and wean her at home on the ventilator.
thanks for this question really appreciated.
Look, Charlie, here is the short version.
After three months in ICU and your mother being more stable and the only thing keeping her in ICU is the ventilation weaning.
Yes, she can definitely go home with our service INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME and we can continue weaning her off the ventilator at home.
It’s really good to hear that there is no brain damage after the cardiac arrest and that is very important.
You know, we can continue monitoring the atrial fibrillation at home. I’m pretty sure that the cardiologist has a plan mapped out in terms of how to treat the atrial fibrillation. And we can do that at home. That’s certainly not a reason to stay in ICU for the next few months and wean her off ventilation in ICU.
So what needs to happen in order for your mother to go home is, we need to set her up at home with the right equipment and the right staff.
We need to set you guys up with a 24 hour intensive home care nursing roster. So we will send you the intensive care nurses in the home 24 hours a day, and then we can continue weaning your Mother from home.
On a financial level there is good news as well.
As you might be aware, an ICU bed is $5,000 to $6,000 per bed day. Intensive care at home is about half of the cost.
And obviously any funding body or funding source, either through the hospital or through other sources will have a strong interest in funding intensive care at home because they can save 50% of the cost and you can improve the quality of life for yourself and for your mother and improve the finances of the hospital.
And the ICU has an empty bed because ICU’s are very busy and they need the ICU beds. So really using INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME for your mother, it’s a win, win situation all around for everybody involved.
We are very experienced setting up 24 hour intensive home care nursing for ventilated patients at home.
And again, we have weaned off some of our clients off the ventilator in the past at home.
INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME case studies
Now, the other thing that I want to mention Charlie is, you know, you mentioned that the hospital or the ICU suggested that, you know, “to pull the plug”, which is highly inappropriate because you have said that your mother wants to live.
You also want your mother to live and people on ventilation and tracheostomy can definitely have quality of life at home and not so much in an ICU because there is no quality of life in ICU.
But certainly in a home care environment, most of our clients report a very good quality of life at home instead of ICU.
And in some instances it’s quality of end-of-life, but nevertheless, it’s the much better option compared to an ICU. It’s an absolute no brainer.
So I hope that helps Charlie and it answers your question so that we can take the next steps with you.
We can hand hold you through the process by negotiating with the hospital, by negotiating with funding bodies to achieve the outcome that you want for your mother.
So thanks for, for watching this video.
If you want to find out how we can help you to get your loved one out of Intensive Care including palliative care or Long-term acute care (also nursing home) or if you find that you have insufficient support for your loved one at home on a ventilator, if you want to know how to get funding for our service or if you have any questions please send me an email to [email protected] or call on one of the numbers below.
Australia/New Zealand +61 41 094 2230
USA/Canada +1 415-915-0090
UK/Ireland +44 118 324 3018
And if you are an intensive care nurse or a pediatric intensive care nurse, and you’re looking to get out of the craziness of an intensive care unit and work for us in a much nicer and more holistic and client-centric family environment, you should contact us as well and should check out our career section on our website here.
We are currently hiring ICU/PICU nurses for clients in the Melbourne metropolitan area, northern suburbs, Mornington Peninsula, Frankston area and in South Gippsland/Victoria (Warragul/Leongatha and Trafalgar).
We are 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 here
We have also been part of the Royal Melbourne health accelerator program for innovative health care companies last year!
Thank you for tuning into this week’s blog.
This is Patrik Hutzel from INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME and I see you again next week in another update.