ICUsteps
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Can't wean off sedation

My Dad has been in ICU for one month. He's on a ventilator via trach. Every time they lower the propofol to allow him to wake up, his heart rate goes too high, his oxygen saturation too low, and they say he gets 'agitated' and off sync with the vent . . . So they dope him up again. He opens his eyes but doesn't follow commands. His CT scan of his brain is normal.

Does anyone have any idea what can be done to allow him to wake up? They're just keeping him drugged day after day, he has no quality of life like this.

Thank you.

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Hiya petesdaughter, I had the same problem when I was in a coma everytime they tried to bring me round, other things went downhill. I know it seems like a lifetime to you as it did with my family and friends but they will be reducing the drugs slowly it just doesn't seem that way to you. I obviously only found out a few months after I woke up what had happened, please have trust in the medical team they have seen this plenty of times, some people do just take longer than others. I was in my coma for about 5 weeks x

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My dad had something similar. They kept him sedated for three weeks and whenever they took him off he became agitated. (They kept saying they would do a trach to get the breathing tube out of his mouth.) You just have to trust your doctors. Eventually, they were able to take him off. It was a long road to recovery after that. Three weeks AFTER coming off sedation before he was even remotely lucid, responding to commands. But six months later he's pretty much back to normal. It's very hard - I wish you and your family good healing.

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And by responding to commands, we're talking, "Blink if you can understand me." It was a month before he could talk, 2 months before he could walk. (My parents were on vacation when it happened and even after two months, he had to be airlifted in medical transport to come back home to another hospital.) It's so long and hard and you must be very worried. But keep talking to your doctors. Also, I compiled a journal for my dad, the events in the hospital he missed but also notes of encouragement from his friends. I have no idea if it really helped him but it gave me something to do! I think it did help my mom who was freaking out. Good luck!

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Vita81068 and jojokarak What sedatives was your Dad/you on? My Dad is on propofol and Xanax. A nurse friend of mine says Seroquel or Precedex and an Ativan drip is more appropriate.

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