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British Lung Foundation
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How soon can you talk after extubation?

My mom had pneumonia which led to ARDS. She was intubated for 7 days.

Extubated 2 days ago but until today she is not able to speak yet.

You can only hear her try to talk but what comes out is just growls and very soft air sounds.

Anyone with the same experience?

How long would it take usually to speak?

I am starting to worry. She can understand us and answers our questions by nodding or shaking her head. Also she can obey commands when the physio asks her to move her limbs.

5 Replies

I’m sorry I don’t know anything about how long it takesto recover the voice after intubation but thought that maybe if you give your mum a pad and pencil she can communicate with you and others.

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You might find the ICU Steps website useful icusteps.org/

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Some useful information from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

Voice care after intubation in intensive care:-



Hello MrRisau .

I am sorry that your mum is finding it hard to communicate. I think this is very specific with each patient. As you know the endotracheal tube is inserted through the mouth and goes all the way through the airway. Now just imagine having a tube down you throat for seven days straight. She probably just needs time to get her voice back. I am so glad that she is able to understand you.

I think it's a matter of time. I wish her a steady recovery. Hang in there.

Cas xx 🍀

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I was unable to speak for near to three weeks after being hospitalised with pneumonia. And I didn't even have the intubation. Check your concerns with your GP.


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