Inside the ICU When Patients are on Life Support

Many times we have seen hospital managements struggle to control friends, families and relatives of patients who are on life support.

In this manner, the hospital is torn between focusing on saving the live of the patient or controlling the large volumes of traffic insisting to get in and out of the ICU. But this is a dangerous trend to the patient.

But what is Life Support (LS)?

When you hear this phrase, the first thing that comes to our mind is that of a person that is on the brink of death due to severe illness or injuries and are under the assitance of some medical equipment to assist them stay alive.

Dr Arun of Lifecare Hospital Bungoma, takes us through some of these important facts.

Life support is usually a temporary measure to buy time for the patient to recover from a critical illness and be able to sustain life without the help of the life support device later on.

There can be different types of LS and either all or one of them can be deployed at one particular time depending on the patient’s need,” he says.

“The best known LS is the mechanical ventilation which helps a patient breath when the lungs are too weak to function on their own or when the patient is too deep in a coma to effectively breath.”

Other LS include certain drugs that helps to keep the BP elevated and keep the heart pumping adequately. Emergent hemodialysis can be a form of of Life Support tool as well.

How do Patients breath on Ventilators?

In most cases, ventilators are attached to a tube, inserted into the mouth and down into the windpipe which forces air into the lungs.

Who Needs a Ventilator?

If your loved one is suffering from a disease or condition that impairs the functioning of the lungs e.g pneumonia, COPD, brain injuries, strokes, etc.,a ventilator is employed.

Use of ventilator is also common when a patient is in anesthesia during general surgery.

Eating while on ventilators

Patients in ICU who are on long term ventilation may require a feeding tube directly insterted into the nose and passes up to the stomach. Feeding is done with this tube.

Are Ventilators Painful?

Actually, there’s little or no pain at all so there’s nothing to worry.

What should families and friends of the patient on Life Support Avoid

Minimal visit as far as possible to decrease the risk of infection to patient.
Critically I’ll patients have decreased immunity to fight infection.

All the services are available at Lifecare Hospital Bungoma with the facility standing as the only health facility with all the sections of ICU in Bungoma County.

With qualified medical staff and highly sophisticated equipments, the Hospital is capable of handling critically ill patients from across the region in western Kenya.

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Simiyu Wakajuaness

Simiyu Wakajuaness is the founder of this news site, a scriptwriter, actor and stage director with ardent passion in media and public relations in this digital world. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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