Headway
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Icu Dad help

Hi i am very worried and sad about my dad being on icu he got in there by getting a heart attack on a 6ft ladder fell off and cracked his brain/head he was rushed to hospital for surgery for blood clot removal in brain they removed it but it did nothing to him he also something wrong with him about the heart attavck idk? hes been in icu for 3 days and they said he has small chance of living low chance. his whole body is good and healthy still alive only thing is his brain damaged hes been in coma in icu i hate seeing all the wires on him and him not talking or walking up how long will it take for him to come out of coma and will he live please let me know thnx.

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Hi there, it's difficult for anyone to say, even the professionals and we are not medically trained. We can only recount our experiences.

Personally I was in a coma in icu for three weeks, and the prognosis at that point was very poor.

However I did come round much to the astonishment of the doctors. I then spent a further 2 months in hospital/ rehab and had to be taught to walk and do lots of things again.

While your Dad is in icu, please talk to him, play his favourite music, read to him, stimulate his brain as much as you can. I remember my family doing these things for me, hearing is the last sense to go, so assume he hears you. I was always calmer when my family were visiting me.

I am not a typical case, my brain injury was caused by encephalitis and it is now 5+years since I was first admitted to hospital, but I still find there are little improvements although not many now.

Be strong for your dad, if/ when he becomes conscious he will need a lot of support.

Take care, Janet x

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I've often thought about my family's shock at seeing me wired up and unresponsive and I really feel for you now seeing your dad in that situation.

As Janet has said, assume he can hear you, so keep talking to him (e.g. 'Do you remember......'). Hearing your voice and feeling tactile reassurance will be comforting and encouraging.

Remember that the doctors will always present the worst-case prognosis ; it's what they do to avoid raising false hope where they simply cannot predict the outcome. But we've seen many others here in your situation who've returned with happier news.

I hope you'll have some better news for us before long. My sincere best wishes for your dad's safe return to you. Cat x

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they tested his breathing by taking off his life support and they said if he cant breathe on his own there gonna have to let them go so we did it and he cudnt breathe on his own. now they are gonna let him go off life support and die :((

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On what grounds are they taking your dad off life-support ? Have they explained why, after such a short time, they are giving up ?

I would expect there to be devastating scan results to cause withdrawal of treatment. They need to justify their actions with explanations which satisfy you and your family.

Has the consultant sat down with you and explained why they consider this to be the only option ; I would've thought they'd need to provide evidence of catastrophic injuries before taking that action. x

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That is a common thing they do and say in ICU. Although I can't comment on how your dad is or will be, I agree with the others about stimulation. Can I also urge you to contact headway and ask also about the h.a.t.s nurse (headway acute trauma support) they are amazing in supporting and advice. Also keep a diary of any thing he does, no matter how small eg a movement etc. Sending hugs x

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I am not a medical expert so cannot give you any reassurance. They cut half my skull off and placed me in a coma to help me live. Please try & be as positive as you can, he stands a good chance of living bearing in mind where he is. Good luck xx

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Key points and advise I would give you

Get a note book (this is a must!)

Write down what happens each day - what conversations are had - what progress even if it's small is made by your dad (you will forget bits otherwise)

Look at the big picture - a brain injury is pretty catastrophic but a heart attack on top of this can majorly complicate things - however the body is also amazing and can often defy even the most senior Drs predictions.

This is a very traumatic time each day feels like a month but try to take each day as it comes - don't think ahead because things can change for better or for worse in a matter of hours.

Everyone copes with the stage differently and everyone's journey is different .

Sending strength your way

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Very sorry to hear about this. They need hard evidence to suggest switching off life support.

patients-association.org.uk...

For complaints re NHS

On human rights angle this org may be able to assist (tip I once had via a lawyer friend for a sick relative who was threatened with the liverpool care pathway

when not terminal)

liberty-human-rights.org.uk/

Keep a note book and if your dad can hear you, ask him a question and say squeeze my hand once for yes and twice for no. If he cannot move his hand, he can try blinking or any other movement possible to communicate. If he can do anything like that, it will back you up.

I hope he improves soon

J xxx

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You could try reading this: wikihow.com/Prepare-Yoursel...

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