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 www.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 another one of the most frequently asked questions that we get from our readers and the question is “What happens if my critically ill loved one had a period where they had insufficient oxygen supply to the brain? What is the prognosis after the brain has not had sufficient oxygen supply(hypoxic brain injury)?”
The “doom and gloom” picture of the Intensive Care team and what you need to do about it
If your loved one is critically ill in Intensive Care and has had a period where he or she had a period of insufficient oxygen supply to the brain, the Intensive Care team may have painted a doom and gloom picture for your critically ill loved one.
But let’s just quickly look at what may have led to your critically ill loved one’s lack of oxygen supply to the brain before we look at the prognosis.
What’s leading to Hypoxic brain injury?
Generally speaking, if your loved one has had no or insufficient oxygen supply to the brain for more than 3 minutes, he or she may have sustained irreversible brain damage. There is general consensus that the brain can be without insufficient or no oxygen supply for no longer than 3 minutes. After 3 minutes without sufficient oxygen supply, the brain is becoming irreversibly damaged. Obviously the damage done to the brain depends on the length of time the brain had no or limited oxygen supply. In many cases it is unknown for how long the brain has had no or insufficient oxygen supply.
All of those scenarios may lead to hypoxic brain injury and again, the Intensive Care team may have painted a “doom and gloom” picture for your critically ill loved one’s recovery.
Is your critically ill loved one in an induced coma and do they need a CT scan of their brain?
Your loved one is most likely being ventilated in Intensive Care and he or she may be in an induced coma. (What is an induced coma and why is my critically ill loved one in an induced coma? Find the explanation here
A Hypoxic brain injury may also cause
Normally the first steps after a hypoxic brain injury has been suspected is to send your critically ill loved one for a CT scan(Computer Tomography) of their brain to find any evidence of damage done to the brain. Initially, at least in the first 24-48 hours no evidence may be shown in the CT scan. As a next step an MRI scan of the brain might get done to get a conclusive image of the brain where damage might be evident.
“Cooling “ your critically ill loved one might help
Either way, in the first 24 hours after the hypoxic event, your loved one might get “cooled” for about 24 hours as research has shown that “cooling” protects the brain and improves outcomes for Patients.
Therefore if your loved one is “cooled” he or she might be in an induced coma and only gets “woken up” after the cooling period has finished and that’s basically the time when “the rubber hits the road” so to speak. After all the medications that kept your critically ill loved one in the induced coma have been ceased, your loved one should wake up.
Your loved one should show signs such as
• opening eyes
• reaching for the breathing tube
• obeying simple commands such as squeezing fingers or wriggling toes when asked to do so
But what do I need to do if my loved one is still not waking up?
If this is not the case in the first 24- 72 hours after your loved one has been brought out of the induced coma you shouldn’t panic and you should give it time.
You may ask, how much time?
With brain injuries, it is very difficult to say how much time is enough time. Over the many years working in Intensive Care I have seen many Patients beating the odds and get out of Intensive Care despite a poor prognosis to begin with. Related article How long does it take to wake up from a Traumatic brain injury or severe head injury?
Time is often the ultimate healer and why following your gut feeling is so important
You’ve got to bear in mind that the brain has a life on its own and unlike any other organ can not be controlled. Therefore time is often the ultimate healer.
You should follow your gut feeling and only you and your Family know your critically ill loved one as well as you do. You have a good understanding how well your critically ill loved one can deal with adversity and how good he or she is in beating the odds.
You shouldn’t buy into the “doom and gloom” scenario of the Intensive Care team as they can be very quick in painting a negative picture. Keep in mind that the Intensive Care may not want to invest the resources, may not have the patience and may have a negative mindset altogether to get your critically ill loved one out of Intensive Care alive. They may also have other Patients awaiting admission into a bed in Intensive Care and beds and staffs in Intensive Care are a scarce resource. It also often depends whether an Intensive Care Unit has a positive or a negative culture. Related article What the doctors and the nurses behaviour in Intensive Care is telling you about the culture in a unit http://intensivecarehotline.com/what-the-doctors-and-the-nurses-behaviour-in-intensive-care-is-telling-you-about-the-culture-in-a-unit/
Always, always make up your own mind!
Unless the Intensive Care team has given you full evidence via an MRI scan or via testing for brain death that the damage done to the brain is so severe that recovery is unlikely, you should make up your own mind and don’t be afraid to do so. But even if they have given you “full medical evidence” you should make up your own mind and you should always the right questions. After all you don’t want to stop treatment on your critically ill loved one if there’s hope!
How do you do that and how can you question if you are not a doctor or a nurse? You can do that by downloading your FREE resources on this website and you can also DOWNLOAD your FREE “INSTANT IMPACT” REPORT! Never forget that irrespective of what the Intensive Care team is telling you that you should do your own research.
It is therefore absolutely critical that you as your critically ill loved one’s immediate Family member 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 for more tips and information 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