ICUsteps
3,026 members876 posts

Doctors have told us to prepare for withdrawal of treatment

My 78 yr old mum has been in ICU for 18 days after a bowel rupture . Surgery went very well but she has COPD and docs have said she cannot cope without ventilator. She seemed to rally last week and had a few hours a day off ventilator. She now has a chest infection which they will try to traet for a further 5 days with new antibiotics.If no improvement they have told us they will discuss removing ventilation and allow her do die. Yesterday she was awake , aware, smiling, asking questions about hope etc and covering my son in kisses. I know she is very week and fed up but I feel she has been given a death sentence qnd there is nothing I can do to stop it.

8 Replies
oldestnewest

This seems a bit soon to be giving up on your mum, many people on here have been on a ventilator for much longer than this. I was also in ICU for a bowel rupture, on a ventilator for four weeks. I was 61 at the time, younger than your mum, but I'm fully recovered now. I hope your mum's recovery continues.

Reply

Thankyou for your reply. Mum was sitting in chair today , less dependent on ventilator and had a voice valve - 1st time i have heard her lovely Welsh voice in 3 weeks !

2 likes
Reply

Mum has a trachy Friz. Thankyou for your reply.mum has full capacity at the moment .I'm trying to be Strong and assertive.she has COPD.

Reply

What a horrible situation. I am so sorry you are going through this. You need to ask the hospital what their policy is on withdrawal of treatment and like Friz said they do require your consent and signature. If you feel like this is too muck you can look for a patient advocate ( I live in canada not sure if there is any where you are) or you can try a social worker. Sometimes you have to put your foot down and stand your ground no matter what they tell you. Hope your mom recovers fully. Good luck

Reply

My dad was on a ventilator for 5 weeks after getting septic shock. It took him a while to start breathing on his own again. We thought it would never happen. I hope you can fight to give your mum longer. And who knows, after yesterday the doctors may have changed their minds too...

Reply

Mum seems to be making good progress right now.fingers crossed xx

Reply

My father-in-law passed away 3weeks ago, he had end phase COPD. The local ICU/HDU did everything they could and helped him fight for 8wks but alas.....He had periods of great lucidity and wellness but then he would dip again. His lungs were too far gone for him to have any quality of life. We wish we had known more about COPD earlier (years earlier) - then we may have been able to prevent some of his suffering. Whilst my wife & sister-in-law had taken him to numerous specialists, psychological and physical assessments for his ‘anxiety’, delirium, and general surreal behaviour - no-one mentioned COPD until it was too late. He showed all the signs of COPD (which he had known all along he had but he was too busy caring for his terminally ill wife to treat his own condition - ironically, she out lives him). I hope your mother improves more. The ICU departments I have encountered in my life, work miracles.

Reply

Thankyou for your reply.Mum has been off ventilator for last 2 days and seems to be making progress.She is back on it at night .She has also been talk g care of her husband who died of cancer 5 months ago.

Reply

You may also like...