My mum is having a tracheostomy today after ecmo . Anyone know why they couldn't do this in the beginning?

My mum is having a tracheostomy today after ecmo . Anyone know why they couldn't do this in the beginning? She has abeen in for nearly 3 weeks now and has had breathing mask for 2 days, the ventilator then the ecmo and now this . She has has a high temperature (39) for 4 days and is bloated and can't move hands or arms . She also has an infection and they don't know what it is . I feel like she has been through so much and her body abused . I know it's all to get her 'better' but the tracheostomy sounds like the kinder way and I'm wondering why it wasn't used in the beginning . The doctor says that it is the way and order they do things ....?

4 Replies

  • It could have been that the ECMO therapy was too exhausting for your mother. In any case your mother would have been on Heparin a blood thinning medication to prevent blood clotting and the Heparin is often a contraindication for any surgical procedure as the risk of bleeding is just too high.

    Furthermore, depending on whether your mother is on V-V ECMO(for lung failure) or on V-A ECMO (for heart failure) she would have been on inotropic support for low blood pressure which is again another major risk factor.

    Moreover, if your mother is on V-V ECMO for lung failure she would have most likely required a high PEEP for ventilation which is again a major risk factor and contra indication for a Tracheostomy.

    I am very much surprised that the Intensive Care tean has not explained any of that to you.

    Check out these links here for more information about ECMO and about Tracheostomy

  • I was on a ventilator for 19 days before I had a tracheotomy my wife was told this was because I was so critically ill and unstable, had they done it before it's unlikely I would have survived, it was another 64 days before I had it removed.

    Bloating is quite common it's fluid retention in the body I'm told I looked like the Michelin man but I have no idea as I had the first 7 weeks in ICU completely missing, don't be afraid to ask questions about your mum if you have concerns and just being there can be a great support for her..

    Best wishes in her recovery.

  • I want you to know that I am praying for you, your baby, and your Mother. I am praying for your whole entire family. I want you to know that I have been listening to Patrik's Podcasts on the intensive Care Hotline and I know this is profoundly hard. I have prayed so much. I must admit, I have cried because it is so saddening to know about what your family is going through. You and your family are truely going through a LOT, but I KNOW that God can and will help you get through this. I KNOW IT. I am so glad that now your Mother was able to get her trach out of her neck, and that she while still going through a lot, is doing better. The Journey through the Intensive Care Unit can be a long one, but THERE IS AN END. THERE IS AN END.

  • God's blessings be with you!

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