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ICUsteps
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Dad is in his 4th week on a ventilator after Septic shock

Hi, can anyone help. My dad has fought septic shock admirably. He has been on a ventilator for 3weeks and 3 days. They have reduced his meds and he showed slight signs of movement but he is not coming round as quickly as they would like and yesterday and today his eyes haven’t moved under his lids. He flinches when touched though. It’s been 6 days since they reduced the meds. Should he be awake by now? They are talking of a tracheostomy ( which they thought he wouldn’t need) and are considering a brain scan. We were so pleased he has fought the infection but now we feel pretty hopeless and helpless. Does anyone have an experience they can share please, of it taking a long time for someone to come round. Thank you.

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I was admitted to ICU with flu, double pneumonia and septic shock, I had multiple organ failure. I was put in an induced coma, intubated, on dialysis for 7 weeks. I remained in an induced coma as I fought for my life for 8wks, combating severe ARDS along the way. It took me eleven days to come out of the coma, it can take months for all of the sedatives to leave your system. My wife said that sometimes my eyes would be wide open but unresponsive, I wouldn’t even blink, they had to administer drops into my eyes to keep them moist. Each person responds differently - so there is no norm - age & fitness does have an impact on how quickly someone comes around. Some people are more effected by the chemicals of sedation than others too. Your father has come so far -I wish him a speedy recovery.

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Thank you so much Sepsur. That has really helped. We had some good news today, he has opened his eyes. They have had to tie his arms to the bed because he is trying to move, which I know will be awful for him but they can’t risk him taking out his tube. Hopefully they won’t need to do a trachy now and they are holding off with the brain scan because his eyes have opened. I really appreciate you taking the time to reply. He is in his 70’s but he has always been very strong and young for his age.

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Ps- may I also ask, how did your kidneys fare? His are partially working. They had him on dialysis for 3weeks then took him off but his kidneys are fully functioning so he may need to do back on.

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For a while after leaving hospital - I seemed to pee all the time - including during the night - now, a year on, Im normal. Trachy for me was a sign of progress

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Thanks for the info. We are waiting to find out if they will need to do the trachy. I’ll let you know.

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Thank you Friz but I think he was too unstable for them to do anything else and now he is awake they are putting it off as it may be unnecessary. I am hoping the update today will give us more guidance. Three other people in ICU have had it this week so they obviously have their reasons for not doing dad’s . Fingers crossed he will be well enough to have the tube taken out.

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FYI - I too had a trachy after 7wks intubated - I was far too unstable to remove tubes up until then, they also weren’t convinced that I would cope with change either and delayed trachy several times because of a dip.

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Did you have any lasting issues from either the tube or the trachy?

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Lasting effects? I’m still here 🤣. The scare tissue around throat cut was uncomfortable for a time, a little like having a hand around your throat - I don’t notice it now, I have an acid stomach after being fed by tube - it’s never really improved, it comes in bouts. I eat live yoghurt & probiotics maybe never consistently enough. My late fitting of trachy was nothing to do with bed blocking or rota changes - none of the nurses wanted to touch me because I was so fragile - their words not mine.

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Wow...I have a very similar story as yours! 2 month coma, trach, kidney failure, collapsed lung, pulimary embolisms, seizures etc. etc. Whatever could go wrong seemed to, BUT...I'm here too!

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Fritz I appreciate your comments but they are not particularly helpful as we do not have a choice. He is now awake and going through another procedure would be distressing. They are going to try and remove the tube tomorrow. Whether it should have been done or not is immaterial as it hasn’t been. Thank you for taking the time to reply though.

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I was awake when they performed my trachy, Even though I was sedated I recall the nurses standing over me during the procedure.

I hope your dad is improving.

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Hi Steve, I’m pleased to say he is improving! He is off the ventilator. They still have him tied down as he keeps trying to pull his oxygen tube out. They are reducing his sedation daily. He is talking but it is all gibberish. We hope that in a few days he will be with us again. I was speaking with a nurse friend about muscle wastage. My dad has been on a vibrating bed for his entire stay in ICU. She says they don’t have them in the UK so I’m pleased he is where he is, especially if that has helped him. We are going into week 6 now and they are talking about putting him in a general ward.

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Hi Steve, I know this is from a year ago, what happened to your dad? was he discharged and when?

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