Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com with another quick tip for families in intensive care.
So today’s tip is about another success story that we had with one of our clients. So I was actually talking to a client yesterday who was in ICU from September 2021 to December 2021 for over two months. At the time, this lady was 46-years of age. She was in ICU with Lupus and COVID and she was on a ventilator with a breathing tube, was on high doses of inotropes. She was in kidney failure and things were looking pretty grim. Her sister at the time reached out to me asking for help and lo and behold, we went on a call with the ICU team who, was painting this doom and gloom narrative, was painting this doom and gloom picture and saying that, her sister won’t improve and that she will not survive intensive care and any treatment would be futile.
Now, that was in the absence of an advanced care plan, i.e. her sister did not have documented what she would want in a situation like this if she ever went into ICU and was life support dependent.
Anyway, what we also did at the time, we educated the family on an option of the tracheostomy, which the hospital at the time conveniently withheld from the family. They didn’t even tell the family that tracheostomy was an option to prolong life. One could argue that they were deliberately misleading the family.
So, what happened next was, we also reviewed medical records at the time and what we did was again, looking at medical records and saying, well, this lady needs to be given a chance and the longer they keep her in an induced coma, the more damage will be done.
Now, while we were looking at the medical records, took another three or four weeks for this lady to get a tracheostomy because the hospital was deliberating on it couldn’t make up their mind. In the meantime, she was heavily sedated in ICU, meaning every day in the induced coma, she was deconditioning and she wasn’t being moved and her muscles were deteriorating. She was deconditioning and only four weeks later, she had the tracheostomy, even though when you look at the research, tracheostomy should be done after about day 10 to 14 of mechanical ventilation in intensive care, assuming someone can’t be weaned off the ventilator.
So, yesterday I had more or less a debrief call with this lady who was a patient at the time. It’s nearly two years later. She’s now at home. She’s living at home. She’s on a BiPAP machine, but she is living at home more or less independently. And that is in spite of the hospital saying at the time and also documenting in medical records that this lady will not survive intensive care.
So it’s interesting, that intensive care teams always paint this black picture, this doom and gloom picture, hent not giving people a fair chance. No one has a crystal ball, and people need to be given a chance. If it hadn’t been for our intervention at the time, this lady would have passed away at the young age of 46 with her first grandchild on her way at the time. And with the intensive care unit team at the time, not educating the family on a tracheostomy, that’s why I keep always saying over and over again.
Number one, the biggest challenge for families in intensive care is that they don’t know what they don’t know. They don’t know what to look for. They don’t know what questions to ask. They don’t know their rights and they don’t know how to manage doctors and nurses in intensive care.
And furthermore, intensive care teams don’t even tell families half of the story of what’s going on, which was evident in this situation. The other thing that they said in the meeting and was also documented in the medical records, she will never come off the ventilator. Well, which is not true. She came off the tracheostomy even. Yes, she has a BiPAP machine overnight, but she’s not on a BiPAP machine during the day.
So predictions in ICU are average at best and we’ve seen this over and over again, many of our clients where we successfully intervened to give people a second chance at life. And, I’ve also recorded a podcast the other day with a previous client who, who was also an ICU survivor if we hadn’t, and it was for our intervention and advocacy that the client also survived intensive care.
So, look, that is my quick tip for today. Never ever give up. what is written on a piece of paper is just that it’s written on a piece of paper. It doesn’t mean anything. And it doesn’t mean anything. And it is just a piece of paper.
So that is my quick tip for today.
Also have a look at our membership for families in intensive care at intensivecaresupport.org. There, you have access to me and my team 24-hours a day in the membership area and via email and we answer all questions, intensive care related.
I also offer 1:1 consulting with families, with doctors, nurses. I can represent you in meetings with the doctors and nurses and obviously we review medical records. We review medical records in real time. If you need a second opinion, we can give you a second opinion very quickly.
And if you need a medical record review after intensive care because you need closure, you have unanswered questions or you are suspecting medical negligence, please contact us as well.
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Thanks for watching.
This is Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com, and I will talk to you in a few days.
Take care for now.