Dad in icu after 3 weeks

Hello. My dad fell off a stair rail from 4 meters. He also has a mechanical valve. He broke two ribs and suffered internal bleeding. He was operated 2 times, the first time to clean up the cavities and cure the chest lesions, the second time because of a blood vessel that broke because of coagulation problems in the intestine area. He also had septicemia after the operation. He had lost a lot of blood and had two times his blood weight of transfusion. He was sedated for one week. After one week, the doctors said the operations are ok and started removing the drains he had in the stomach area and lungs. During the second week they kept waking him up and sedating him telling they can't wake him up because of the lungs and because he is agitated. In the last 3 days of this period he was calm and the doctors said the lungs were ok. On the day they weaned him off, after more than 2 weeks from the accident, he was left on spontaneous breathing and woken up for more than 10 hours, and he was obviously in pain. After the removal of the tube he was breathing good. He regained conciousness, but didn't move his body very much. Responded and opened his eyes, not talking. He had high bilirubin levels that were going down, the doctors said it is because of tje medicines. Today his pressure went down. He was first given a non invasive mask and it helped him get stable and raise the pressure. He was then put on the ventilator with a breathing mask for more than an hour, being again in obvious pain. His pressure went down, they said it was normal on a ventilator, but then extremely high. They sedated him and put back the breathing tube. They have checked heart, lungs and brain and said that he doesn't seem to have any damage annd that he fainted because his muscles are too weak to breathe and got tired. I am thankful for keeping him alive, but all these breathing tests seem like torture to me. Dis anyone have any similar experience or has some idea of the situation? Thank you

12 Replies

  • Thank you. I have already read most articles on that site. After the x-rays and blood tests they said he was ok.

  • Now the doctors said they will perform a tracheotomy. One doctor said that he was too weak but the neurological side is ok, another one said he will have to recover from muscle neuropathy. They are waiting for his coagulation level to go lower. I am still unsure if all the sedation time was necessary... Probably yes...

  • A physiotherapist came yesterday and today to do some exercises and said that he doesn't have neuropathy. They will perform the tracheotomy anyway. I just have some doubts that trouble me... Maybe if they helped during the days while he was awake, by starting physiotherapy, by helping him clean up his secretions, this wouldn't have been necessary. I also witnessed, while he was awake, the day when his pressure went down. Then the doctors came with another type of oxygen mask with a bag attached, his blood pressure went up to 100, and then they have put the ventilator mask on him, first on 100% and he was doing ok, and then I think they wanted to test if he was breathing well and left it at less than 100% I assume for a really long time, meanwhile I was seeing him crying and his face changing colour. I saw his pressure go to 50 and then up to 200, reaching 300. Then they sedated him and reintubated him. When I asked what happened and if it was because of the breathing mask they said he had fainted and they have put the mask to help him and see if they could avoid the breathing tube. I surely didn't see it help so much. Also, prior to this event I witnessed, I think they had already tested him another time, because when I arrived the silicone strap of the mask was next to him and the doctor told me he had trouble breathing and said that he was weak and his chest moved too much while breathing. I am also getting paranoid that he had problems because he tested him too much instead of helping the breathing. I am also worried that my dad might have done too much effort just because I was telling him to go on, he's doing a great job, keep on taking long breaths, and maybe I have put pressure on him. Does anyone know something more about this practice about testing with the ventilator mask and could tell me more? To add, my dad's age is 49 and he is very active, non smoking.

  • And I know that they have to perform the tracheotomy and I want to be one step ahead. Does anyone know about the infection risks for his meachanical valve condition? What should I follow and insist on doing during the recovery?

  • Tracheostomy done today. His sedation will stop tomorrow.

  • He is still under some sedation but waking up. Now I was thinking that he will still spend some time in icu without moving. The physiotherapist came a few times but just for a short while. I have asked if i could just lift his legs and arms a little and the doctors said no because only a physiotherapist could do that. I have moved a lot his left arm that was on the side of my chair and that is the first thing he moved so my instinct tells me it is good to move him. I have asked the doctors if we could bring in some therapist aand they said no because only hospital staff can enter and anyway he must be conscious for it to work. Does anyone have some good advice? Thank you

  • Last night he talked, with the trach on a ventilator and said "paralyzed". I and the nurses reassured him that his nerves are ok and he will regain muscle strength. I really hope he understood.

  • He is now conscious, opening eyes and also started to move his arms and legs. He has the tracheostomy and he is breathing with the ventilator and a little bit by himself. Yesterday i was calm for the first day in one month. Now the doctors came with another thing to make me anxious: moving him to another hospital. I got so panicked again, said that we would like him to stay here if possible, didn't get an exact answer of why they had this idea. I will ask again tomorrow. My mother also gets me anxious about anything anyone tells her. I am worried about him being transported with all the tubes and needles attached. The ICU where he is is almost empty so i don't think it's the space...

  • He started communicating by moving his lips. I found out he doesn't remember the day when he fell down. He kept asking for a pen to write. The nurse didn't want to give him one because he couldn't put his hand up and starting lecturing him that he can't write and that I am there just to keep him company, to not ask me for things. I have most obviously gave him a pen afterwards because he kept asking. He couldn't write anything down and I have explained to him that it is normal. He is now breathing with the tracheostomy tube and I have overheard the doctors that the ventilator helps with around 12%. They did tell that they want to move him, not right now but soon. The reasons were that we live closer to the city where the other hospital is and that it is also a bigger and better one... Hoping for the best

  • Hi Katie. How is your Dad doing now? It seems like my Mom is going through a similar experience. She is having the hardest time coming off of the sedation drugs and the vent. She's been on for two weeks now and the docs are talking about a trach. Do you think this has helped your dad? Is the weaning easier with a trach? Thank you.

  • My dad passed away because he restarted bleeding after 1 month and a half and after two other operations his heart couldn't make it anymore... The accident was too much... He had a much easier time with the trach and regained consciousness in the last week and a half. The doctors didn't even cut him for the trach, they had put a needle that inflated. To reassure my father, i was telling him about actors that had this and the doctors were telling him it was temporary. He seemed to not be bothered, other than the fact he could not talk. But while he was without a tube, he was too weak to talk, so i think the trach option would have been easier from the beginning.

  • Oh Kate. I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. My sincerest condolences. Thank you for sharing your story.

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