Hypoxic brain injury post cardiac arrest - Headway


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Hypoxic brain injury post cardiac arrest

raks78 profile image


I'm wondering if anyone has experienced themselves or with a family member a situation simmilar to mine where the consultants who treat my father at ITU and us as a the next of kin of my father cannot agree on withdrawal of life support. What are the next steps? They say 'ultimately the decision is theirs'

Here is an overview of what happened.

My dad (59 years) had a cardiac arrest at home. My partner performed CPR and once the amublance he regained a pulse after continued CPR and the use of a defibrillator (noted 30mins down time) he was taken into ITU where everything was regulated and he was at this time heavily sedated. He has been having myclonic seizures and they have now managed to control them with anti epileptic drugs. Until then they kept him sedated (for 16days) to control the seizures. We are 9 days off sedation now and he is has gone from no movments at all to a vegatative state, with eyes opening more and more slowley and his pupils now moving and small movements from his body although these are involuntary movements the doctors are saying. EEG scans show a poor outcome however a MRI does not show any brain damage. They are saying that he has hypoxic brain damage and that leads to very poor prognosis

We have had 3 meets with the consultants and they are all saying that the quality of life will be very poor and he will stay like this forever. I feel as if they are trying to pressure us to make a decision straight away and we have seen in the 9 days small changes from not waking to being in the vegatative state he is now. They keep saying the decision is ultimately theirs and they are trying to negotiate time. Has anyone been in a simmilar situation and does anyone know at what point will our wishes no longer be considered. It's been 24 days today in total he has been in ITU. 9days off sedation.

8 Replies

I experienced surviving cardiac arrest with a brain injury and am considered high functioning. So I had a much better prognosis than your Dad. Here are a few things you may want to consider (It has been about 4 and a half years since my event) - 1. My quality of life is about 40% of what I once had. 2. Life for everyone around me as well as myself is a huge challenge to deal with. 3. I would have rather died than to experience life like this. 4. Are you prepared to live under a constant state of worry and seeing your loved one suffering in this very diminished quality of life?

One of the reasons I say I would rather have died is I had a near death experience that was so wonderfully peaceful and loving that I did not want to come back.

I wish you well in your decisions.

raks78 profile image
raks78 in reply to sca2013


My fiancé lost oxygen as well and had suffered anoxic brain injury and they were willing to pull the plug on 2-3 days after stating the same bs. Please check out my page. There has been much progress since and although I am not sure when or if he will ever finally wake up he went from nothing to now moving his feet, legs, yawning, opening his eyes to his name, crying etc. The brain is the most sensitive organ it needs time I firmly believe for healing. There have been hundreds of people with the same injury who have lost oxygen longer or shorter but have made it. Dont lose hope. I know its hard. Much luck and prayers xx

Similar. My Dad had been in ITU for one month, and he wound up on a medical cocktail. When they partially withdrew them to test regaining consciousness it worsened his condition. They could see no good outcome and we agreed to withdrawing support and sat with him and Mum as he slipped away. Have never felt remorseful and still have faith in extreme care aspect of NHS. That’s just our family experience. Best wishes

raks78 profile image
raks78 in reply to Bards

Thankyou Bards

My husband is in a similar scenerio and drs are moving him to an LTAC. Why do your dads drs want to pull life support so early? How is he physically? My husband is 41 days post op, was 14 days induced coma, 27 days since coma drugs stopped. He is vegetative state per neurology though our family gets occasional responses and i see new movements or responses every visit. They are saying with anoxic injuries to give 3 months for brain to heal at least.

raks78 profile image
raks78 in reply to Angelia1234

Hi Angelia, thanks for your message. It's refreshing to hear that he is being given a chance. It's now 8 weeks on and dad has gone from an induced coma to a vegatative state. I can see the ITU consultants loosing patients as everything is working and the only thing keeping him in intensive care is the breathing tube. 95% of the breathing is done by my dad but he does need the occasional push from the Ventalator and as my dad is a big guy, they don't feel comfortable removing the Ventalator tube just yet. They are also saying he has not yet recovered enough to consider a traceostmoy (breathing tube on his neck).

We see changes everyday and he now opens and closes his eyes daily to sound. What's LTAC?

Angelia1234 profile image
Angelia1234 in reply to raks78

Long term acute care hospital. I see new things with my husband at every visit, smile at a joke or an i love you, a nod to a question, pulling his iv out, or yesterday i kissed his head and he puckered. Of course the drs dont get response so its not real. Very frustrating. Its a roller coaster of emotion.

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