I was told fluid removal was very traumatic and would just come back. Is that a reason to not try? My mother is 89 with alzheimers but for now still breathing on her own and talking some. (also was singing once in a while) Shouldn't they try to remove the fluid by suction? I read where it's been done.
Gale Brown and family
The procedure is rather routine, and the fluid does not necessarily "come back". A disgnosis of Alzheimer's is not necessarily a cause for an elderly patient not to recieve good medical care. There are many stages in Alzheimer's and the progression varies with patients. There are many unanswered questions about "the fluid". In many cases the "fluid" is cause by the inept respiratory therapist using a bubbler for oxygen supplementation. More information is needed. You need a physician opinion who has personally evaluated your mom. I suggest a geriatric specialist for a consult. This is a rather new specialty.
my father is 86. He had a nosicomial? infection from his last hospitalization. Six months later, he is back in the hospital--treated for bacterial pneumonia for three weeks with numerous antibiotics. the docs did not do a culture to determine what kind of pneumonia he had until 4 days ago. Now they say it is viral--they have a tube to drain his lungs. He cannot swallow well. He cannot eat because of choking. he only has one kidney (since teenage). He is a retired judge and very tough and we want to keep him around. We are constantly told by the docs and nurses--well, he IS old. Considering their possible (god forbid) malpractice in this case--does anyone have any suggestions for his care? Is alopathic drug treatment the only remedy? What can we suggest to help our father??
I am sorry that your father is so ill right now...Unfortunately with viral infections, there isn't much they can do except perhaps give antiviral meds and watch very closely for any evidence of a bacterial infection which would change his treatment. I am not a doc, so please take what I say with a grain of salt (was a nurse in an ICU...what I say is from what I have experienced with my past patients...the best bet is to have a family conference with the doctors involved in his care to make sure that all of the t's are crossed and i's are dotted and that all of your concerns are addressed) Because he doesn't eat, is he being fed through a tube of some sort or is he recieving IV's only? Nutrition is important in fighting an infection, if he isn't getting any feeds (sometimes docs withold them if a person is very ill) maybe that can be added to help his nutritional status. I wish I could help more..Sunny
Thank you so much for your input on my dad. they are trying to get him to eat-- giving him those liquid nutrition drinks and forcing him to eat saying that he needs to improve his ability to swallow and cough up. I asked if they ever give vitamins, antioxidents--the answer was no. They have phones they share among ICU patients--I asked how these were cleaned--they said they used "saniwipes"! Aren't they spreading microbes among patients?? They took him off antibiotics yesterday because he has viral p. any thoughts?
Did the hospital do a swallow evaluation on your dad? That way, they can tell what consistency his foods/liquids should be. It is relatively simple to do (actually it has been done on me twice due to my trach issues)...they add dyes to various consistencies of fluids and foods and have you swallow all the while watching the food go down (using a scope..that part is a bit uncomfortable, but it tells them alot especially if there is aspiration). If they haven't then I would ask so that if he needs thickening added to his fluids then that can be done so that he doesn't aspirate as often. IF he is aspirating everything, then he shouldn't eat anything and should be given nutrition via an alternative route.
As far as phones and other hard surfaces, I hope that they are cleaned! ICU's are notorious for harboring nasty bugs...I was very careful working there and wiped everything down (fellow colleagues used to tease me about my fastidiousness about keeping things as germ free as possible). If they have the wipes in his room, (most rooms have them), have them or yourself wipe any object that comes into the room, especially phones. They have many nooks and crannies and can be difficult to clean. IF they use the sani wipes right, then the bacterial loads are greatly diminished.
It sounds like your dad needs to get stronger, he has been through a huge trial and being in a hospital in a bed deconditions you rapidly. I know this personally, I am a veteren of long hospital stays and am amazed by just how fast I am weakened. If physical therapy hasn't been ordered, then I would ask his doc to order it to help with his muscles. The stronger he gets, the better. They can work with his limbs in his bed and have him stand doing some exercises (does he still have a chest tube?...walking would be difficult but isn't impossible with one unless he is too frail).
I hope this helps...I pray that your father turns the corner, it sounds like he is a toughy (I think all judges are!). Sunny
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