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, including home TPN.
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
What’s My Dad’s Life Expectancy After He had a Tracheostomy? Live stream!
Good morning, good afternoon, good evening wherever you are. Welcome to another live stream of Intensive Care at Home and Intensive Care Hotline. My name is Patrik Hutzel, founder and editor of Intensive Care Hotline, and also operating manager and director of Intensive Care at Home. I want to welcome you to another live stream.
And in today’s live stream, I want to talk about “What’s my Dad’s Life Expectancy After He had a Tracheostomy?” And this is a question we get all the time, especially for Intensive Care at Home. And with more and more families getting educated in intensive care, they’re looking for options and they want to know what’s the next step. And they don’t want to be brushed off by intensive care teams not giving them options and they’re doing their own research. And that’s what this is all about today.
I want to help you understand what is your dad’s life expectancy after he had a tracheostomy, but it could also be what’s your mom’s life expectancy, what’s your sister’s life expectancy, what’s your child’s life expectancy.
Hi, Modema and nice to see you again and welcome to everyone who’s on the call now. So that’s what the live stream is all about today. And please type your questions into the chat pad, keep them on today’s topic. But if you have any other questions that are not on today’s topic, but are intensive care related or Intensive Care at Home related, I will absolutely get to them by the end of this presentation.
Now, before we dive into today’s presentation you might wonder what makes me qualified to talk about this topic. So I am a critical care nurse by background. I have worked in intensive care/critical care for over 20 years in three different countries. Out of those 20 years, I have worked as a nurse unit manager for over five years in ICU. I am the founder and director of Intensive Care at Home where we provide Intensive Care at Home nursing services for our predominantly long-term intensive care patients with a tracheostomy and ventilation, but also otherwise, medically complex clients at home that are in need of an intensive care nurse, 24 hours a day that otherwise would be in ICU or would no longer be alive.
Also since 2013, I have also consulted and advocated for families in intensive care all around the world as part of my Intensive Care Hotline consulting and advocacy service for families in intensive care. But that’s enough about me, let’s dive into today’s topic.
At the end of the presentation, you will also have the opportunity not only to ask your questions, you can also dial in live on the show and ask questions over the phone, which I will be able to answer here on the stream as well for everyone that wants to take up that option as well. So in the meantime, use the chat pad, keep the questions on today’s topic if you can and ask any other questions that are not related to today’s topic at the end of this presentation.
So coming back to today’s topic, “What’s my dad’s life expectancy after he had a tracheostomy?” Let’s break this down and let’s wind the time back a little bit just before your dad has a tracheostomy or your mom or your sister or your brother or your child, anyone for that matter, what should happen first?
Well, the first thing that should happen, and the first thing that I always say is, has the intensive care team done everything beyond the shadow of a doubt to keep your dad alive and avoid the tracheostomy and get them extubated? That is the very first question you should be asking before you’re even thinking about what my dad’s life expectancy is after he had a tracheostomy. I’ve done countless videos and blog posts about this topic, when to extubate a patient and avoid a tracheostomy? And I’ve done a live stream about that as well, how to avoid a tracheostomy in the first place?
Now let’s assume the intensive care team has done everything beyond the shadow of a doubt to avoid the tracheostomy and extubate your dad or your loved one, then and only then can we look at what are the next steps? What’s the life expectancy for someone that has a tracheostomy? What’s the life expectancy for your dad?
So there is no clear-cut answer but there is probably a better answer now than there was 10 years ago, 15 years ago and I tell you why. So Intensive Care at Home services have been around now for the last 20 years. We’ve been predominantly in German speaking countries to begin with its now accepted practice and best practice in Australia. It’s coming slowly to the United States to North America, but it’s not mainstream just as yet, but it’s definitely becoming more and more mainstream and it’s accepted more and more accepted that Intensive Care at Home is a genuine alternative to a long-term stay in intensive care.
Now, when you look at intensive care studies, the studies actually suggest that the life expectancy for someone with a tracheostomy is very poor. And a lot of patients die within less than a couple of years. And they’re saying that patients that can’t be liberated from mechanical ventilation after they have a tracheostomy won’t survive for very long. Now, with no word do these studies mention Intensive Care at Home. So if you do a tracheostomy in intensive care, because someone can’t be liberated off the ventilator straight away and you factor in that they have a limited time in ICU to get off that ventilator, your mortality rates go up, right?
If you’ve done any of the reading of my blogs, if you’ve watched any of my videos, well, you know that ICU teams are negative and ICU teams will always say, “Well, your loved one is not going to survive it and it won’t be in their interest to survive anyway and ra,ra,ra”, right? We’ve got enough case studies, we’ve got enough voices from clients that can verify that. We get phone calls every day from all over the world, why is the intensive care team so negative? Well because they can’t look outside of their little box. Their little box is, well, we’ve got an intensive care bed that is scarce. We’ve got an intensive care bed that is in demand. We’ve got intensive care staff that are scarce and in demand, so we have to manage this bed very effectively and that often means “pulling the plug and freeing up a bed for the next patient.” There’s no long-term thinking in terms of what is possible for someone with a tracheostomy that doesn’t come off the ventilator.
What are we doing with these people? Well, Intensive Care at Home is the answer to that.
So life expectancy can be decades for someone with a tracheostomy. And yes, one could argue that the older someone is, the lower life expectancy, but that’s just natural human life. That is just natural human life that the later someone gets a tracheostomy in their lifespan, the lower you could argue life expectancies, but that doesn’t mean that a 65-year old person can’t live for another 10, 15, 20 years with a tracheostomy and a ventilator. And I’ll get some more examples there in a minute when I look at case studies.
Modema you’re saying, “Risk of secondary infection is the reason they do it “. Now, there’s a large number of reasons why someone has a tracheostomy. And again, I’ve written extensively about this. I’ve made many, many videos about this, why someone has a tracheostomy? Today, I don’t want to talk about why people have a tracheostomy that’s been covered in various recent and previous blog posts and videos.
So today’s blog post will be about what’s the life expectancy. I can probably come to it at the end of it, but at the moment, I just really want to focus on what’s the life expectancy for someone after tracheostomy.
So when we look at the intensive care studies, they only paint half of the picture. If you type into Google, what’s the life expectancy for my dad after tracheostomy? You will be pointed towards intensive care studies. And they say, well, life expectancy is poor and they will cite numbers that, 70% of people are dying and what not. Well, that is with limited service availability. The studies are done with limited service availability, with limited mindsets around how you can extend intensive care into the home, which is what we’ve been doing successfully for over 10 years now and we’ve provided millions of hours in the community of Intensive Care at Home and prolong life for clients that have an interest to prolong their lives and intensive care unit should have an interest to prolong life, but they often don’t because they operate from a very limited mindset and from a very limiting paradigm.
So that’s why I thought I need to make a video about this so that people can see what intensive care studies are not sharing with you. It’s a very limited study. It’s limited by the four walls of an intensive care unit, really, whereas we extend intensive care into the home successfully and therefore life expectancy goes up by years or by even decades.
So it comes right back to when your dad or your mom or your brother or your sister or your spouse, or your child has a tracheostomy. The question is what is the goal of a tracheostomy? What’s the goal? And the goal is to prolong life, of course, and often to give people a second chance to be weaning off the ventilator. And if that fails, then one can look at Intensive Care at Home and continue intensive care treatment and therapy at home, right? And potentially continue weaning at home.
So again, I’ve written extensively about what’s the goal of a tracheostomy, when is a tracheostomy being done and so forth. So you can find that on our website or on my YouTube channel, “When should the tracheostomy be done?, for example.
So once the goal has been established and what do I mean with the goal? So for example, let’s just take someone with a neuromuscular disease, with a progressive neuromuscular disease such as motor neuron disease. The goal of a tracheostomy in those situations is to prolong their lives and to get them out of intensive care with our service Intensive Care at Home. So they can have quality care and quality of life at home. That would be the goal of a tracheostomy for someone with motor neuron disease. For someone with a spinal injury, like such as a C1, C2 spinal injury, the goal would also be to prolong life, improve quality of life and get them home with our service Intensive Care at Home. So they can continue the care and treatment they need at home to improve their quality of life and live for as long as possible. The goal is always to maximize life expectancy and quality of life, and in some instances, quality of end of life.
So let’s take somebody else. Let’s take someone with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). The goal for someone with COPD should be to wean them off a ventilator if they have a tracheostomy. If for whatever reason, they then can’t be weaned off the ventilator, again, they should be coming under the care of Intensive Care at Home. So the ICU can free up the expensive ICU beds and patients and families can have choice and go home. It’s as simple as that.
And what happens in reality is that ICUs still to this day say, “Well, if Fred with COPD can’t be weaned off the ventilator with COPD, well, he won’t have any quality of life, we should just pull the plug!” And that’s terrible, but that’s what’s happening in many instances. Or in the US, they get shipped off to LTAC, which is almost as bad as ending their life because LTACs are just terrible places. They’re not equipped and not qualified to look after ventilated clients in their facilities.
Let’s take another example, for someone that comes into ICU after a motor vehicle accident, has rib fractures, has many fractures as a matter of fact, as part of their motor vehicle accident, they might need multiple surgeries, staged surgeries that go on for many days, sometimes even many weeks and then with the rib fractures and lung concussions, maybe they have pneumothorax, have chest drains and whatnot. They often end up with a tracheostomy and then there could be prolonged weaning as well. And again, the goal of the tracheostomy here is to prolong their life, give them more time, give them time to wean off the ventilator. And again, if they can’t be weaned off the ventilator, get them home with Intensive Care at Home, cut the cost of the ICU bed by nearly 50%, free up the ICU bed and maximize a patient’s quality of life at home instead of ICU.
Another example is for someone with Guillain-Barre syndrome. So again, when patients are in ICU with Guillain-Barre syndrome, they often need a tracheostomy while they’re going through the therapy, or they often have immunoglobulin therapy and they often go through prolonged weaning phases, but many of those patients actually fully recover. But I have seen Guillain-Barre patients in ICU for six to nine months, having no quality of life, being depressed and weaning could be facilitated so much better at home with our Intensive Care at Home service.
Now let’s look at a couple of other examples. Let’s just look at children for example. So we’ve looked after many children at home with a tracheostomy and/or ventilation. And many of those children that we looked after at home were premature babies. And they often were born with an element of lung failure and they needed tracheostomy temporarily.
So we helped them going home and then, helped them at home to live with the tracheostomy and then after maybe 18 months to 24 months of their life, their lungs had developed to a point where they could live without the tracheostomy. And then they had the tracheostomy removed and they went off to live hopefully a normal life.
So different conditions with different goals, but always with the goal of maximizing life expectancy. And that’s why you can’t trust those intensive care studies because they’re not factoring Intensive Care at Home in. If you do a tracheostomy for a 75-year old Peter in ICU and Peter has nowhere to go to because maybe in his area, there are no Intensive Care at Home services and he can’t be weaned off the ventilator, of course, the life expectancy for Peter is going to be lower than for someone that can go home with a tracheostomy with Intensive Care at Home, with 24-hour intensive care nursing at home, with qualified staff, people that know how to handle a tracheostomy, know how to handle a ventilator and so forth.
So it’s different horses for different courses, if you will. And it’s not a one size fits all approach. Now that you’ve got a bit of an understanding of how intensive care units look at tracheostomy and life expectancy, now it’s time to flip that on its head and look at, okay, what is actually really happening outside of intensive care with Intensive Care at Home? What’s the life expectancy for our clients and what do their lives look like? Do they have quality of life and so forth?
Let’s break that down in a second. Modema are you asking, “Does being on ECMO complicate the tracheostomy surgery? I lost my husband very shortly after the trach was done. He was on ECMO and then later for 21 days prior to surgery, which I believe is the standard of care here.” A great question Modema. I would argue that being on ECMO does complicate or is higher risk for doing a tracheostomy. As much as it’s needed, it’s higher risk and I’ll tell you why. You may remember that if your husband was on ECMO, he would’ve been on heparin, he would’ve been on a heparin infusion and that in and of itself is a high risk to do a tracheostomy because of the risk of bleeding.
So let’s just say they stopped the heparin hours before they did the tracheostomy. He would’ve still been at risk of bleeding and next he would’ve been at risk of developing a blood clot while he was off heparin while they were doing the tracheostomy. I don’t know whether that has had anything to do with your husband passing away. Right, is that what’s happened Modema? Is that what’s happened that your husband had a significant amount of bleeding? Is that’s what happened? Is that why he passed away? Anyway, while I’m waiting … brain bleeds, right, yeah. I’m so sorry to hear that.
I’m not surprised, ECMO can be a life saver of course. And there are many risks attached with ECMO, including one of the risks is bleeding. And one of the risks is that often a tracheostomy is being delayed while people are on ECMO. And if a tracheostomy is being delayed because people are on ECMO and they’re on heparin… right, COVID related. Sure. And there could be other reasons why a tracheostomy is delayed including the unavailability of someone that can do it, a surgeon or an ICU specialist and so forth. So there could be other reasons as well. But the problem then is that if a tracheostomy is delayed, it often means that people need to stay in an induced coma for much longer than anticipated. They need to stay on sedation for much longer than anticipated and therefore, there is more deconditioning going on and then recovery times are much longer.
So you can see why an early tracheostomy for the right patient is important. There’s a limited window of opportunity when you can do a tracheostomy. It’s not that you can just say, “Oh, we’re doing a tracheostomy.” You need to time it well, and with COVID, and I’ve done videos about that too with COVID, there have been many delays when a tracheostomy should be done. So before a COVID, tracheostomies would’ve been done more on time, as opposed to during COVID, we’ve seen that. And that’s a big risk in and of itself. So you have a limited window of opportunity when it’s the right time for a tracheostomy, you need to make an assessment that everything has been done beyond the shadow of a doubt that you can’t avoid the tracheostomy. Once that assessment has been made, then you need to proceed with the tracheostomy as quickly as possible. So you can switch off sedation, start physical rehabilitation, start physical therapy, start mobilization and get people back on their feet as quickly as possible if it’s possible at all but you can see where I’m going with this.
Okay. So now we’ve looked at what’s happening inside of a hospital in terms of leading up to a tracheostomy. Now let’s look at what’s happening outside of a hospital when it comes to life expectancy, tracheostomy, and ventilation.
So if your dad’s been in ICU for three months with COPD, can’t be weaned off the ventilator, well has a tracheostomy, let’s get them home as quickly as possible. Once we’ve set up 24-hour intensive care nursing at home, then your dad can go home and can, I argue, improve his quality of life big time. There’s no quality of life in intensive care, no matter how good the care and treatment is, there’s no quality of life. Whereas at home, you can continue care and treatment at home and your quality of life is much improved. You’re no longer in a sterile, depressing, intensive care environment. You’re now at home where you’re surrounded by your family, got friends coming and going, you can live a much more independent life. You’ve got the intensive care coming into your home and not the other way around. And that’s how it should be.
So what’s quality of life really like at home? Again, let’s look at some examples. I mentioned motor neuron disease. We currently have two clients on our books that have motor neuron disease or are at home with motor neuron disease. They both have a tracheostomy with a ventilator and they are having 24-hour intensive care nursing at home so they can maximize their quality of life at home. And both of them have been at home for years now. And the alternative for them would be to be in intensive care, if Intensive Care at Home wasn’t available, intensive care without the shadow of a doubt would be pushing to “pull the plug and end their life” because they think their life is not worth living.
Well, why don’t you ask those people? Well, I can tell you what the answer of those people is. I want to live. I want to be at home with my family. I don’t want to die. I want to live at home, surrounded by my family, surrounded by my kids, surrounded by my wife, by my husband, whatever. And they live a very good quality of life at home given within their restrictions, of course, but those people have voted to live and they’re not regretting it for a minute.
Other example is we have a client with a C1 spinal injury who’s been living at home now for six or seven years and he would not want to miss one minute of his life. He’s going out, he can be surrounded by his family and he could live … He’s only 20 and he could live for a long time to come, could live for a long time to come as long as he’s getting the right care. So Modema, you’re asking, “random question, would it be better to do the trach prior to starting ECMO then? I would imagine so, although it’s kind of quick given the windows of opportunity.” One would argue yes. One would argue yes, but there often isn’t anytime, the risk is often too high to do a tracheostomy early on. What you may not have heard of there’s also now, still a bit rare, but I have seen it and I know it does happen, awake ECMO, because ECMO is basically taking over the function of the lungs or the hearts, or both. You could potentially extubate a patient.
The challenge is that if ECMO is not effective, you have to literally palliate an awake patient and that can be cruel. So basically what I’m saying here is that if you extubate patient and you do an awake ECMO, yes, you can be off all sedation. If ECMO fails, and if you can’t wean someone off ECMO, for whatever reason, you can’t put them on a heart or a lung transplant list, or even if you can, and there are no donor organs available, you would have to tell a patient that you would have to withdraw treatment.
Yeah, it’s petrifying stuff for sure. Petrifying stuff on all ends. It has to be thought through carefully. ECMO, like many other things in ICU are not straightforward and there are many moral and ethical questions that have to be answered before you do an awake ECMO, before you do a tracheostomy, before you start ECMO. Also Modema, often ECMO, very rarely can you plan ECMO. You can’t say, oh yeah tomorrow at three o’clock we’re putting this patient on ECMO. It happens in an emergency. There’s little time for planning, very little time for planning. I hope that sheds some light on that Modema in terms of where ECMO and tracheostomy, how it ties together. And there’s lots of risks. There’s lots of risks for ECMO in general. Let’s move over to the community again.
Hi Alex. Nice to see you again. So let’s move over to the community and look at more case studies. So I talked about some of the children we looked after. I talked about some of our clients that we look after with neurological conditions. You know, there’s another young lady that is at home with a neuromuscular and neuro degenerative disease and she’s living a much better quality of life at home after she’s been in hospital for two years. So there are so many examples now where people live a good quality of life and those people don’t even show up in those intensive care studies.
And coming back to the very topic of life expectancy, so let’s just say your loved one can go home for six months for 12 months and live a good quality of life at home and if it’s an end of life situation, what if your loved one can pass away at home instead of an intensive care unit where you have no control whatsoever? Wouldn’t that be the preferred option?
So it’s not only life expectancy, it’s also how do you want to maximize the time you have left potentially. And then there’s also situations where people leave intensive care with the tracheostomy that are mobile. For example, after laryngectomy and they might be perfectly capable of managing the tracheostomy at home themselves, if they’re mobile, if they’re otherwise functioning, but again, that’s probably the exception to the rule. My experience obviously is with people that are dependent. Now, coming back to the studies where intensive care units limit their studies to the four walls of an intensive care unit, and maybe what’s happening in a hospital once someone has been discharged from an ICU, and then they’re going to a hospital ward, again, those studies are limited to the confinements of a hospital. Whereas we are coming at it from a very different angle and talking about studies.
So when you look on our website intensivecareathome.com, you will see that we have a research paper published there, which are called the Mechanical Home Ventilation Guidelines. That is an evidence based research paper from Germany after Intensive Care at Home has been around there for nearly 25 years. And enough research has gone into it that when people go home on a ventilator with a tracheostomy, or if people go home with a tracheostomy and without a ventilator, they need to have intensive care nurses there 24 hours a day that have a minimum of two years intensive care nursing experience. So that’s the only safe way to take someone home on a ventilator. So if that doesn’t happen, your life expectancy will absolutely be shortened. And we have evidence for that. So let me put this in perspective for you.
So we’ve looked after clients at home that either had a tracheostomy or had a ventilator and a tracheostomy and we were only doing night shifts. There was no funding from the funding body for day shifts. And we went back to the funding body. We went back to the families and we said, look, pointing towards the mechanical home ventilation guidelines, saying here look, here’s the research, here’s the evidence that people at home on a ventilator or a tracheostomy need to be looked after 24 hours a day with intensive care nurses, with a minimum of two years intensive care nursing experience to extend the ICU into the home and make it safe.
At the time we were laughed at by the funding bodies and said, well, you guys don’t know what you’re talking about and even our families questioned it. They thought that their loved ones would be safe during the daytime. Well, we said they are not because we know the risks. We know the risks of a tracheostomy, we employ hundreds of years of intensive care nursing experience with Intensive Care at Home. And we talk as a group and we know what the risks are and we know that our families don’t know what they don’t know, even intensive care units don’t know what they don’t know because they’ve never worked in the community. They have no idea what needs to happen in the community to prolong life and make sure that the clients get what they want and get what they need. They have no idea. Very limited insights do they have.
So coming back to those two clients where we were only funded for the night shifts and didn’t have any funding for the day shifts, unfortunately both of those clients passed away during the daytime, because there were no intensive care nurses that could manage a medical emergency and medical emergency happens for people with the tracheostomy. It not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. We’re trying to avoid them at all cost, of course, but they can happen. And if they do happen and you don’t know what you’re doing, it can be lethal, which is what happened in those situations. Even for us it’s a fairly high risk taking someone home on a ventilator and we need to manage it, but not having an ICU nurse there 24 hours a day is a recipe for disaster.
So we know what can happen if the cover isn’t there and therefore it needs to be set up properly. So those are some of the case studies. We’ve also provided end of life care at home, palliative care for people with a tracheostomy that go home with a goal of having end of life at home instead of hospital and that is so much nicer compared to a hospital. So that’s, what’s happening in the community. People can live for many years, for many decades and they can maximize their quality of life and ICUs don’t have to worry about them coming back. So that’s the gist of what’s happening outside of intensive care and how you can prolong life expectancy after a tracheostomy for your mom, for your dad, for your brother, for your sister, for your spouse, for your child.
So Alex, I will come to your questions once I’ve finished off today’s topic, then I will come to your questions. So if your loved one has a tracheostomy in intensive care, you should absolutely contact us at Intensive Care at Home, have a look at intensivecareathome.com, how we can help you take you home from intensive care.
At the moment we are predominantly operating on the east coast in Australia, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane. I know we have a lot of inquiries from the United States. You should definitely contact us. We have a couple of providers in the US that we can set you up with. Same in Canada, please contact us. We are not in North America yet. We are too busy here at the moment. But yeah, if you are in, especially on the east coast in Australia, we absolutely can help you.
We can help you with funding, especially NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) funding. We have a NDIS specialist support coordinator on our team that can help you with funding. If you have funding already come to us, but do not let the NDIS tell you that you can only have support workers, because what I’ve just told you now especially when people die, that’s often a result of the NDIS not funding what’s clinically appropriate. The NDIS is trying to save money and it literally costs lives. So you should absolutely talk to us around the advocacy side of things as well.
So, yeah, contact us at intensivecareathome.com and call us on one of the numbers on the top of the website if you want to go home from intensive care with a tracheostomy, ventilator, BiPAP, CPAP ventilation, also home TPN, but also any other complex medical conditions where you are in need of an intensive care nurse, and you don’t need to necessarily be ventilated. We can help you with that.
So Alex, I’ll just come to your questions now, “Wanted to give you an update doctors gave albumin as you recommended last time. We spoke and the body is still swollen because of her weak immune system. Her body isn’t able to retain fluids. My mom opened her eyes again, as soon as I came in and moved her head towards me. The doctor said she has random movements all the time. She also said that she could remember my voice and move a bit”. Okay, well, that’s very good. I mean, that sounds to me like there has been progress. Her body is probably still swollen so it’s often a combination of when people are swollen in ICU, it’s often a combination of low albumin or low hemoglobin and being immobile, right? It can also be a combination of being immobile, low albumin, low hemoglobin, and potentially low and a weak heart and potentially kidney failure.
Alex, please remind me, your mom had a cardiac arrest? I do apologize if I can’t remember the details, but just remind me. I do believe your mom had a cardiac arrest from memory with the hypoxic brain injury. Do I remember that correctly? Right, right. Okay. So you got to look at all of that what’s leading to the swelling. Very little brain activity, but I mean, if she remembers your voice I mean, that’s a very good sign. ICUs are always negative by default. All they want is for your mom to go out. That’s all they want no matter the means. So her remembering your voice, that’s great. That’s really good. You got to cling onto the positives.
For your mom, and I’m just putting it out there, would she benefit from going home? “She has a UTI and her heel has an infection in the bone marrow. Oh, she’s got a pressure sore, right?” Well question Alex, I mean, you weren’t, I think from what … also her lungs from pneumonia. Sure. Well, Alex, do you think your mom would benefit from going home with a ventilator and a tracheostomy. “She’s also on dialysis.” Okay, dialysis is a bit more, but okay, let’s just say with all the issues going on, do you think she would benefit from going home? “I wouldn’t be able to take her home.” Okay, what if you had 24-hour intensive care nursing at home, would that get her home? What do you reckon?
While I’m waiting for your answer, a lot more is possible at home than you think there is with the right support. A lot more is possible at home than you think there is. If you have the right support, if you have the right services. No, dialysis doesn’t rule out home care Modema, it’s probably a little bit more difficult to set up, but it can be set up. It doesn’t rule it out. Not at all, not at all. It’s easier without it, no question, but it doesn’t rule it out either.
So I had her at home with an aide and had doctors come in. I wouldn’t be able to accommodate people to be here 24 hours a day.” That’s fair enough. That’s fair enough. Now then you should be looking at weaning her off the ventilator, getting her mobilized that was before the arrest. And she didn’t have a tracheostomy before the arrest Alex, is that correct? She didn’t have a tracheostomy before the cardiac arrest. Right. Okay, sure. Yeah, sure. It’s a different ball game. It’s a different ball game now that she has a tracheostomy but again, I don’t know whether you were here from the start, Alex, when I gave case studies of what clients we look after at home. “She was fine, just couldn’t move because of her stroke.” Fair enough. Fair enough. Yeah.
So look, I don’t know whether you were here from the start, Alex, when you might have listened to some of the case studies what’s possible at home, but if she’s not making progress you got to look at the things that can turn the needle and that can get her to progress.
So now for anyone that also wants to call in live on the show, the opportunity is there now, while we’re slowly wrapping this up, but if you have any questions, you can type them in the chat pad, but you can also dial in live on the show. The number that you can dial in on is for US 4159150090 that is again, US. Canada. 4159150090, UK, 01183243018, UK, 01183243018 and Australia 0410942230. Again, 0410942230. So if you want to dial in now, you’re welcome to do that. The numbers are also below this live stream. It’s copied and pasted below this live stream. You can pick up the numbers there as well.
But to sum up what’s the life expectancy for your dad after a tracheostomy, it really depends what you make out of it. Assuming they can come out of ICU and survive their critical illness. The life expectancy is really what you make out of it and how much help you’re able to get. The people that you talk to, the mindset you have, the paradigm you have. Don’t look at intensive care studies that leave half of the realities out. Intensive care studies paint again, a doom and gloom picture about life expectancy after a tracheostomy but they’re not taking into account our service Intensive Care at Home where we can prolong life at home for intensive care patients and improve their quality of life, maximize their quality of life. Quality of end of life. Most people at home, they can use computers, they can go out. Some of them can study, can do a little bit of work. A lot more is possible than you think there is.
And imagine with such a positive outlook on life, with such a positive outlook on life their well-being will improve. There’s no positive outlook in ICU, you know the doom and gloom in ICU. Whereas we provide a very positive outlook on life outside of intensive care.
So that’s it for today.
I want to thank you for coming on to the live stream, to the show. If you want to dial in, you still have a chance to do that now, if you have any final questions, type them into your chat pad. I would love for yu to give this video a thumbs up, to share it with other people, with your friends, with your family, anyone that would benefit from this video.
Subscribe to my YouTube channel for updates for families in intensive care and for weekly YouTube lives, where you can ask questions and do that.
Now, also, if you have a loved one in intensive care, go to intensivecarehotline.com, call us on one of the numbers on the top of our website, or send us an email to [email protected].
Then, have a look at our membership for families in intensive care at intensivecaresupport.org. We also review medical records for your loved one in intensive care. And I also do one and one consulting advocacy for families in intensive care and I can certainly help you with a transition from Intensive Care to Home. That’s all within my area of expertise.
Alex, I do appreciate your kind words. Look, I’m just trying to be the best version of myself, whatever that is. I just talk from my experience. I just talk from what I’m doing on a day in day out basis. That’s all I’m doing. And I appreciate if I can help people, that’s just a byproduct of what I’ve been doing for the last few decades and I do appreciate your kind words.
I want to wrap this up today. I just quickly need to have another look whether I’ve missed anything. No, I think I’ve answered all questions. I want to thank you again for coming on to the show. I will be doing another one next week around the same time, around 8:30 PM Eastern time, Saturday night in the US 5:30 Pacific time, which is 10:30 AM on a Sunday Sydney Melbourne time. Thanks again for all your support and I talk to you very soon.
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 minimum 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, Sunbury, Bendigo, Mornington Peninsula, Bittern, Patterson Lakes, Frankston area, South Gippsland, Drouin, Warragul, Trida, Trafalgar and Moe 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.
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.