Sister ICU for Aspiration Pneumonia : My 50 year... - ICUsteps


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Sister ICU for Aspiration Pneumonia

Sis2020 profile image

My 50 year old sister has aspiration pneumonia and is currently in ICU for 4 weeks now. She also suffered from sepsis, diabetes and other ailments. She cannot breathe on her own. Doctors put her on heavy sedation propofol because of setbacks from the trache placed on her neck and a broncoscopy done the same day. She woke up puffy all over and with fluid in her lungs. They tried to wean her off propofol but she did not wake up. Her eyes rolled and she is not responsive. I’m scared for my sister. We were told yesterday she has multiple organ failure and to prepare for death. It has been over a month. I don’t want to lose hope. Any similar stories of defying the odds?

18 Replies

I was blue lighted in A& E with Influenza A, double pneumonia & Strep A, I had already gone into septic shock as my kidneys had failed the night before. Meanwhile my heart and respiratory system was failing and then failed. I was placed in a medically induced coma which did not look promising. Dialysis & intubated, with every conceivable drain, plug, catheter going. My family were told on many occasions to come as say goodbye.

I appeared to improve week 2-3 and then plummeted again. I had severe ARDS. Everything was pretty dismal for the next 4-5 weeks, I’d rally a bit then plummet, then rally a bit. The staff couldn’t understand why I kept picking up every infection, MSSA, VRE, CMV, EBV, glandular fever. They suspected a blood cancer & just as I woke from a two month coma, they confirmed a type of leukaemia. My family were warned that I probably would not be the same, sepsis May have caused irreversible damage to muscles & nerves, I might be brain damaged due to lack of oxygen & my leukaemia would have to remain untreated because my immune system would not survive the chemo.

3 yrs on - I’m still trudging the road to happy destiny.

Hope & kindness all we have to hold onto sometimes. I hope your sister’s ordeal has a happy outcome.

Sis2020 profile image
Sis2020 in reply to Sepsur

Thank you so much. Your story gives me hope. They are telling us my sister has no brain activity because she does not respond when they lower the propofol. Doctors said it may be due to hypoglycemia and kidney problems. The EEG had a tiny blip that is suspect of a seizure. CT scan not done due to oxygen saturation of 30%. We don’t really have a confirmation that her brain is not functioning.

Sepsur profile image
Sepsur in reply to Sis2020

This forum is full of people who have defied the odds

saniyash7087 profile image
saniyash7087 in reply to Sepsur

Your story inspires me a lot and gives me hope. God bless you :)

Remain hopeful was the best advice we were given by a kind ICU consultant. My brother was a similar age to your sister and had sepsis from flu and strep A. He was on a ventilator with all his organs shutting down with sepsis. He was then put on ECMO and dialysis after being placed in a medically induced coma. I remember it was very hard as he was unconscious for a month and it was a rollercoaster of new infections. He had Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome ARDS too.

As your sister is sedated and her organs aren’t working properly it takes longer for the body to deal with all the medication. I will send you a link to induced coma as I found it helpful to understand what was happening.

We understand what a difficult time it is for you and your sister. Don’t give up hope as it may take time for her to come round from sedation as it’s gradually withdrawn because her body has a lot to deal with. . I remember the kind ICU consultant shouting very loud down my brothers ear calling him by his name and my brother briefly opening his eyes and therefore responding during the period of his being unconscious. This helped us so it might be worth suggesting to the Drs who are treating your sister.

Sis2020 profile image
Sis2020 in reply to Copse77

Thank you so much for your response. Very helpful. How long did it take your brother to finally wake up? Did he have any brain injury?

Amy0418 profile image
Amy0418 in reply to Copse77

How was your brothers healing process after hospitalization and how is he now. My brother is currently going through a similar experience. Today he got his trach and we were told he will need dialysis the rest of his life. He’s on day 22 in the ICU.

Copse77 profile image
Copse77 in reply to Amy0418

Hi Amy

2 years on my brother is doing well. He moved from ICI to a stroke rehab ward though he had not had a stroke. He returned home walking with a stick. Now he is walking fine. It takes time and everyone’s experience is different but remain hopeful is the best advice we were given and I say this to others. There are many positive stories on here. Best wishes for your brothers recovery.

Amy0418 profile image
Amy0418 in reply to Copse77

Thank you and that’s amazing news about your brother❤️

Please see this article and answer to 4 that says time is a great healer.

Sis2020 profile image
Sis2020 in reply to Copse77

I don’t see a link to the article.

Copse77 profile image
Copse77 in reply to Copse77

Sorry. Here is the link now. Yes they told us my brother had bleeds to the brain and there might be no recovery. My Mum said to tell you everyone is different in the time they take to respond. Keep talking to your sister. She may not be able to respond yet but the stimulation of you talking to her will help. We are thinking of you

Sis2020 profile image
Sis2020 in reply to Copse77

Thank you and your mom. The advice is so helpful and meaningful. I’ve told my family about your mom’s message. It has given them and me so much hope.

Copse77 profile image
Copse77 in reply to Sis2020

I am glad it is helpful. We understand what you are going through and how hard it is. Please keep talking to your sister. We used to read to my brother about his football team, tell him what we were doing and that we were waiting for him. Your sister may hear but not be able to respond yet. We are with you.

It was after a full month unconscious he slowly began to come around and there are debacles day to day with infections It took another 3-4 weeks because of all the sedative drugs and the fact his kidneys weren’t working.

I found out today that my sister suffered multiple strokes and is blind per a CT scan. Her kidneys are weak. I’ve lost hope.

How are you and your sister. I am so sorry I didn’t see your reply until now. My Mum was only asking tonight how your sister is. With best wishes to you and your family.

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