is there a fixed amount of time, ie only a certain amount of oxygen you can take from a ventilator
A long story short, a very old close friend of the family (been my parents friends for the last 50 years, and known me for 39 years) is in hospital and has been for nearly a week and cannot breathe unaided at all and is on a ventilator
Tonight his wife has been told to come back into the hospital as they are turning the ventilator off, something to do with the amount of oxygen he is getting and the body can only take so much
the Hospital dont know what is wrong with him, other than say its something bronchial, something pneaumonia, something viral yet cant work it out what is wrong so they sedated him last week and kept him sedated and do not want him to try and breathe on his own as he is too ill, so are helping him breathe
He has also contracted MRSA after only being in the hospital for a couple of days, and this is supposed to be a state of the art hospital too
No one seems to know what the implications of the ventilator being turned off, his son is incredibly angry and asking lots and lots of questions but never really been given any straight answers
There is a possible hint that the apparent lack of care/diagnosis etc etc is due to him being a smoker too
Are they just now trying to free up a bed, or is there some truth to this ventilator and oxygen business
The Doctor said his oxygen level was 90/95 and then went to 80/85 but said it needs to be 50 at the very most and his body cant really take the level that is being given
I think (as we havent heard back this evening) that his wife was called back to the hospital to make the descision to turn the Ventilator off, that does seem to be the gist of things
However there does seem to be a large negliegence part that has taken place here too from the Hospital side of things
He was left on general ward for far too long having crap (infection taken off his lungs in the ward, when he should have been in ICU, he did eventually get moved to IC once he had deteriated that bad that they had no choice
Like I say it isnt looking good, and chances are as soon as the Ventilator is turned off (may have already) he will be unable to breathe and probably pass away in minutes (if that)
At sea-level, 0.5 bar is exceeded by gas mixtures having oxygen fractions greater than 50%. Lung oxygen toxicity damage-rates at sea-level pressure rise non-linearly between the 50% threshold of toxicity, and the rate of damage on 100% oxygen. For this reason, intensive care patients requiring more than 60% oxygen, and especially patients at fractions near 100% oxygen, are considered to be at especially high risk, since if the situation is not corrected, the treatment may begin to cause lung damage which contributes to need for the high-oxygen mixture.
could very well be wrong end of stick, my dad was similar about 6 yrs ago
He had fallen down stairs and broken some ribs, upshot was his health wasnt very good anyway and he was put in the ICU at warrington. He also had to be sedated and put on a ventilator he needed this to save his life. After a good few days when he had made some improvements/body got stronger etc we had to make the decision to wean him off the ventialtor to see if his body could take over the normal function again.
Hopefully this is what the hospital means and everything turns out okay
I am sure you will find that either he is ready to breathe on his own, or that the doctors are of the opinion his long term outlook is is such that keeping him on the ventilator is only prolonging the inevitable.
Sonic, you've got things very mixed up I'm afraid with all the numbers higgly piggly (obviously you are upset)
Though high concentrations of 02 are not good for you (they are toxic to the lungs) they can be used for as long as needed to try and maintain an adequate amount of o2 in the blood (and hence your organs)
What the Drs probably mean is that the fact your friend NEEDS so much o2 to try and achieve this implies his lungs are in a bad way and perhaps not improving. I think they are trying to hint that your mate is not going to get better and may well die (sorry to be blunt)
But there is no specified time that high concs of 02 can be administered for, I hope that makes sense?
The real question is how sick is he?
How much support is he needing for his lungs (how much pressure, how much 02 etc)
Have any other organs failed?
What was he like before? ie runs 5 miles everyday or can't climb a flight of steps?
If they say he is requiring loads of support for his lungs and then talk about switching the ventilator off then I'm afraid what they mean is withdrawal of treatment with death as a consequance.
Having spent more years than I would care to mention on ITUs I can tell you that sometimes we try for too long on futile cases and sometimes we pull out a little too early ( ie someone has 99% chance of death so pull out, but 1% will be the miracles that survive. If it was me I'd quite like even that 1% chance)
All the best, feel free to pm me and I'll try and help
The Ventilator was brought in as he could no longer breathe on his own, the figures I got from my mum last night, and from what the Doc said, is that he is getting too much oxygen which isn't helping him as he isnt breathing on his own, and they have also said that they dont want him breathing on his own as he is too weak and too ill to do so
He went in because he was struggling with breathing due to infection/build up on the lungs, and was left on a normal ward for several days, whilst they just monitored him and he contracted MRSA
He has been on some Chemo drugs (not chemo itself as such) to help with another problem that he had, so his immune system has been quite low to begin with
He also has angina, and is diabetic too
I havent heard anything this morning yet, but things all do some very confusing especially to his immediate family as they cant understand what is happening, and feel like the Doctors aren't giving them all the right information
Since going into hospital he has deterioted so rapidly I think It has been a week since going on the ventilator, the antibiotics havent worked, and nothing upto now has done anything at all to improve the situation only worsen it
Thanks everyone for your comments, and information
I got a text a bit back to say that the Hospital were going to try some different drugs to see if it helps
He sadly passed away at 2.45 this afternoon
Sorry to hear that. Its academic now but I think what you were talking about when you said 'drs said too much 02 wasn't helping him breathe' is called hypoxic drive. You and I depend on raised c02 to stimulate us to breathe. For long term smokers where the c02 gets raised chronically, low 02 takes over as the drive ie hypoxic drive. If you then give too much 02 you take that drive away and they breathe less.