My father has septic shock, pleae help! - ICUsteps

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My father has septic shock, pleae help!

markmason095
markmason095
25 Replies

My dad who is 82 years old, has been in hospital for around two week now with

Septic shock brought on from pneumonia. He started acting strange and fell over twice at home and i called a ambulance which took two hours to get to his home. He was not put into ICU until last Friday the 20th, doctor called me saying there is no hope for him and that all his organs are felling him and he has a bad heart and we need to plan for him on a comforable way for him to die! I did want to hear any of this of course and refuse meeting with them face to face and only talk to them on the phone as i wanted to have some control of this awful nightmare! Anyway my father is now step down ward told he was doing better yesterday but now he is bad again. Please can anyone help me with any advice as i am so heartbroken at the moment

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Sepsur

I’m very sorry to hear what your family is going through. I spent a considerable time in ICU after going into septic shock brought on by avian flu & double pneumonia.

What I am certain of is my family played a key role in my survival, not only by their presence, ( although I was in a coma, I could still hear) but their determination/perseverance at getting me the best treatment when all hope had been abandoned. Even if you can’t face it at the moment, have you other family that is at his bedside?

Wishing you well.

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markmason095

Thank you for your advice and time Sepsur which i really appreciate it! I believe the hospital are trying to make my dad "comfortable" at the moment, in other words trying to making him die! I will head to the hospital today and thank you again for your help

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Sepsur
Sepsur
in reply to markmason095

This forum is full of people who have defied the odds. Best wishes

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markmason095
markmason095
in reply to Sepsur

Dear Sepsur,

Thank you for your help! But i have very bad new news, i went to see my Father today and he is no long on any machines or fluids, and he has finished his last course of antibiotics today. They cant feed him and he cant take water because of his system being so mucked, so it like to me they are now just starving him to death! I'm so mad they took out of ICU on christmas eve and without the family say so. My heart is breaking at the moment and i dont think there is anything i can do...please help me if you can, im at the end of my rope...

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Sepsur
Sepsur
in reply to markmason095

I’m sorry to read what you have written. Can you ask for a second opinion?

I still remain convinced that my family’s presence altered the course of my treatment.

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Copse77

Yes as Sepsur says there are many people on this site who have defied all the odds. Family support will help your Dad. Presence of family will help to reassure him and this experience is a rollercoaster and there will be good and bad days . I know you are in a nightmare situation as I have been through similar trauma when my younger brother was critically ill. What you have been told on the phone is distressing but sometimes a face to face conversation can help you understand what is happening and you will get a fuller picture. Making someone comfortable doesn’t mean the end. If you need any advice I am happy to help. We were told there may be no recovery when my brothers was lying critically ill with his youngest 6 year old child was waiting at home. We as a family supported him all the way though it was traumatic and distressing and With the support of NHS my brother has made a good recovery. Remain hopeful was the best advice we were given by a kind consultant in complete contrast one consultant who told me there may be no recovery when my brother was unresponsive and suffered brain bleeds. Wishing your father and you strength and hope for the future. Best wishes.

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markmason095

Dear Copse77,

Thank you for your help! But i have very bad new news, i went to see my Father today and he is no long on any machines or fluids, and he has finished his last course of antibiotics today. They cant feed him and he cant take water because of his system being so mucked, so it like to me they are now just starving him to death! I'm so mad they took out of ICU on christmas eve and without the family say so. My heart is breaking at the moment and i dont think there is anything i can do...please help me if you can, im at the end of my rope...

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Copse77

You might ask for a meeting with the Doctors treating your Dad. You can ask them to explain what nutrition he is being given. Did they explain why he was taken out of ICU. There is normally a lot of pressure on ICU beds which is why they may have moved your father if they feel he could be safely downgraded. I do hope you get some answers. If there is anything I can help you with I will.

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markmason095

Hi Copse77,

Thank you for your reply, they took him of ICU as they said there was nothing more they could do with him, they can not stop him from dying! I dont think he has been giving any nutritions as he has no fluids going into him now and they can not feed him as he is out of it. Not on anymore antibiotics, i believe they have given him some medication and that's it! i believe they are starving him death but the nurse told me that is not what they are doing, im no doctor but i know if you dont eat and drink you will die!

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Copse77

I am sorry your family and your Dad are going through such a terrible time. If you are unhappy with the treatment he is getting you could ask to meet with the medical team to express your concerns and get some answers.

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Grant_za

I really feel for what you are going through. In 2017 my 79yr old mother acquired a surgical infection, she was placed in an isolation ward in the ICU unit. A while later she was moved out of ICU to and isolation room in the general ward. She was in ICU to stabilize her vital signs - not specifically to treat the infection.

When visiting her in the general ward I had to put on gloves, mask, surgical apron, the hair net thing and even those sock things over my shoes. If I left her room just to make a phone call I had to take it all off, dump it all into an infection bin, and start all over when I went back in again.

The doctors battled the infection. There were about 4 specialists + a critical care physician involved (whilst in the general ward). Various antibiotics were used - all were failing - infection markers remained unacceptably high). I was asked to sign a "do not resuscitate order", which I did. By now she had stopped eating. I was then asked to consider allowing the medical team to withdraw medical support and begin palliative care.

I refused. I then brought in a dietician. She explained how the body requires "x" amount of vitamins etc to function normally - with infection and the combination of the infection and aggressive antibiotic treatment her body was simply not getting the required nutrition for survival and to fight infection. A feeding tube was then used with a product called Freshubin. She was also given a drink called Fortisip - a small 125ml protein drink, 4 bottles per day. Daily blood tests were done to specifically monitor protein, pre-albumin, and albumin levels. After about 4 days the protein levels started creeping up. About a week later both protein and pre-albumin levels were showing steady increase. After around 2 weeks her protein levels were approaching an acceptable level, pre-albumin and albumin levels were also increasing steadily. A decision was taken to stop antibiotic treatment until pre-albumin levels got to a certain point. When that happened she was given a steroid based antibiotic (protein feeding continued).

A month later she was discharged home.

What startled me was the disconnect between various specialists treating her. Why was it none of them thought of bringing in a dietician. I found their focus was on infection markers - like horses with blinkers on.

For my part I was intensively involved with her treatment at the hospital. I was there at least 3 times a day, arriving at random times - not visiting hours. I consistently monitored nursing care - often calling the nursing services manager or even the hospital manager to her room whenever even slightly unhappy with any aspect of treatment.

It got to the point where I was on a first name basis with the ward staff, both day and night shifts, the cleaning staff and even the chef in the kitchen.

During this ordeal I "fired" two specialists and replaced them with others.

One of which was known for his very bad and abrasive bedside manner.

I got to my mother one day with her vascular surgeon to find her crying uncontrollably. The one with the bad bedside manner had been exceedingly harsh with her during a ward visit. By chance I saw him passing by my mom's room.

I flew out in a rage and physically grabbed him by his shirt as he was passing.

I then started hurling abuse - it was severe. I shouted at him " you mother f****** c***, if you ever so much as look at my mother again I'll teach you a lesson in respect and bedside manners in the basement car park with a baseball bat - every last tooth in you mouth will be smashed down your throat". The entire ward fell into silence as everyone watched on. He was telling the nurses to call the police, I told them to call the newspapers once they had called the police. I then shoved him away warning him to ensure I never so much as layed eyes on him again.

Needless to say, this incident was the talk of the hospital for a while. A number of nurses approached me over time thanking me for being the person who eventually gave the god-complex doctor a wake up. I'm told since then, there has been a total change in the manner in which he treats patients and their families.

The only advice I can offer based on my experience is watch what goes on like a hawk. Your father has rights, so do you. Do not hesitate in enforcing them. Ask questions and expect proper answers. If you somehow feel uncomfortable with the answers you are getting, do not hesitate to get second opinion beyond the team currently treating your father.

Stay strong and help him fight his battle - be there with him as much as possible, your presence will always place pressure on the medical team to constantly provide the level of care he needs.

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markmason095

Dear Grant_za,

Thank you so much for your reply and im SO pleased your mother is well and how you handle those doctors was amazing! I went to see my Father today and he is no long on any machines or fluids, and he has finished his last course of antibiotics today. They cant feed him and he cant take water because of his system being so mucked up, so it like to me they are now just starving him to death! I'm so mad they took out of ICU on christmas eve and without the family say so. My heart is breaking at the moment and i dont think there is anything i can do...

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Grant_za

Is there no way he can be fed via a nasal feeding tube or intravenously ?

Believe me, I know your suffering, my mother was admitted to an emergency room at 2.45pm on christmas eve. She passed away in the emergency room at 5.10pm - seemingly not having received the correct care.

After being told just before 5pm that she was being taken to radiology, I told her and the doctors I would be going home to collect some things for her.

Uber arrived for me at 5.10pm, I was called back into the hospital to be told she had passed away. In those short 10 minutes while I was away, she died - alone.

For the remainder of my life I will have to live with this.

As I write this I feel my heart being torn apart.

I know your pain, I know your despair and desperation,

Get a second opinion.

If there is absolutely nothing whatsoever that can be done for him, stay with him, keep him company, talk to him - please dont make the hideous mistake I did.

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markmason095

Oh Grant_za i am so sorry to hear this about your Mother after all you did to save her which i think was so amazing of you! I know the pain you are feeling. They said there was no way they can feed him now if they could they would. I hate leaving my father all alone in the hospital but i cant bear the be there and watch die like that.

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Grant_za

I know your pain and fear. Many people have extreme difficulty in coping and find they have to leave the bedside.

For my part, I feel I abandoned my mother in her final few minutes of life. If there was any way I could go back in time to be with her at the very end, I would.

I curse myself for leaving her.

We all deal with things differently, although it is the most terrible thing to watch a loved one slowly drift away. As difficult as it may be I can only urge you to stay on with him. When the time comes, you will find solace in the fact you were with your father until the very end. There can be no greater devotion to a loved one than that last bit of dedication.You will be saved from the torment that haunts me on a daily basis.

If need be, ask the doctors for a couple of sedatives for yourself at this time - they will oblige.

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markmason095

Please dont feel you abanoned your mother, all the things you did for her were amazing, you kept her alive for another two years, how wonderful was that!

I would love to stay with my father but i need to remember him for the man he once was and to be honest i dont even think he knew i was there or not. Im just in to much pain and seeing him dying on me, would add even more.

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Grant_za

Ok, I hear what you are saying.

To remember your loved one in better health also makes a massive difference.

The agony & emotion you are going through right now is terribly intense.

Again, consider requesting a mild sedative for yourself, it will help soothe the harsh pain you are in.

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markmason095

Bless you Grant_za for all your advice, cant tell you how much it means to me in my darkest hour, you are a star!

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Grant_za

Know this, probably the other side of the world from you (cape town), someone is thinking of you.

Dont bottle up your emotions - let them out.

For my part, I took a drive to a quiet spot, out of sight and sound of everybody and let it all out until I was utterly drained.

It helped tremendously for when I had to return to the hospital to collect my mother's things & meet the undertakers.

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markmason095

Other side of the world indeed! i'm in London. I cant stop crying, i'm ok one minute and then the next im on my knees crying my eyes out. I'm a 41 man but you know what i still need my dad so much and that living without him is so hard to take, i feel so sorry for my mother who has to deal with all this pain too!

I have made a offical complaint to the hospital as i believe if my father was giving the right treatment he wouldnt be dying now, will let you know how that goes.

Please rememer you are also in thoughts too, your mother was so lucky to have you!

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Grant_za

Let out that emotion in one big go - find a quiet spot and let it all out.

I also intend taking action against the hospital, although I have terminated communication with them.

There is a major incident receiving extensive media coverage in South Africa, a different hospital, but same hospital group.

ewn.co.za/2019/12/18/hpcsa-...

I have been talking to the father of the child that died. We may combine our efforts or I may launch a separate action from Cape Town. For the Netcare Group - not a good thing to be facing negligence allegations simultaneously in two different cities

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markmason095

Good! Just because people are old doesnt mean they are not worth saving. I wish you well with that, more people need to stand up and fight these hospitals when we know they could have saved lifes if they only acted sooner instead of later

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markmason095

Dear members who have been so helpful to me on this site and i cant tell you how much your words have helped me. I'm afraid to say my father has died last night at 11:30pm. Thank you all again, i hope you and your family all very long and happy lifes, god bless you all

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Copse77

I am so sorry to hear your father passed away. Thinking of you and your family at this difficult time.

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markmason095

Thank yo so much

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