Once at the ER, Eileen was placed on oxygen and admitted directly into the Medical Intensive Care Unit. That evening, her kidneys failed. A little over twenty-four hours later, she went into respiratory arrest and was intubated. Although a definitive precipitating cause was never revealed, Eileen was diagnosis with both Sepsis and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. Eileen’s husband, parents, two brothers, and twin sister were told the prognosis of ARDS: her chances of survival were not good.Eileen was forced into a drug-induced coma, insulted with tubes and assaulted with machines throughout her body. As the days turned into weeks, the physicians told her family the grim reality of her illness: it was time to start thinking about removing her from the ventilator; it was a “quality of life issue” because if she did survive, they said, she would likely “never breathe on her own again.” Her family refused to give up hope and sat with her each day, all day, talking to her, singing to her, just holding her hand. A tracheotomy was performed after she was hospitalized for about two weeks since it was clear she was nowhere near getting off the ventilator.
Silvana Breur, who lives in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, is thankful.In February, 2003, Silvana went to the hospital for her third surgery on her jaw. The previous unsuccessful surgeries were in July, 2002, and August, 2002. At that time, the then thirty-nine year old Silvana hoped that this would end her medical problems.Her surgeon told her that she would be in the ICU overnight. But that was not to be. Silvana had problems with her lungs coupled with difficulty breathing. Three days after, a trach was performed at the urging of Silvana’s mother.Silvana was in a coma for fourteen days. She required at least one chest tube. She was in the ICU for three weeks. She spent a couple of nights out of the ICU and then asked her doctors if she could go home early. Since she had a of family help, she was released.When she came home, Silvana was so weak; she could not dress herself and people came into the house to help her with the cleaning. Though she wanted physical therapy, she received none.Six months after getting ARDS, Silvana thought she could return to her part time job as a receptionist. But it was too soon. It took a full year to recover. She was diagnosed with diabetes afterwards. She has lost the feeling in some of her fingers and at times, she feels disoriented.
HOME / DIET & NUTRITION /The Deadly Condition You Never Knew ExistedSarah Kaye Santos MORE ARTICLESNovember 23, 2016FACEBOOKTWITTERLINKEDINSTUMBLEUPONREDDITWhen most of us think of deadly health problems, heart disease and cancer are the first things that come to mind. After all, these diseases are the leading causes of death in the U.S., according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Not every health issue is a disease, though, at least not exactly. In some cases, an illness can lead to a life-threatening complication, and that’s the case with sepsis.Though you might not have heard of it before, sepsis is a lot more common than you think. In fact, the National Institute of General Medical Science says more than a million Americans are affected each year, and 28% to 50% of those people end up dying from the condition. So what exactly is this complication and what should you know about it? Read on to find out.What is sepsis?A diagram showing different organs in the human body | iStock.com/goa_noviSepsis is a complication that can develop when the immune system overwhelmingly responds to infection, according to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. When this happens, the huge influx of immune chemicals leads to blood clots and leaky blood vessels. As a result, your organs don’t get the oxygen or nutrients that they need to function properly. In severe cases, this leads to septic shock, which may cause multiple organs to fail and even death.
During the course of her revival, her towering spirit, encaged in a frail body could not fight and eventually she gave in. It appears that during the surgery, her diaphragm may have got punctured. She developed septicemia, pneumonia, that deteriorated into acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and brain stroke.How did it happen, especially to a person who was the fittest amongst us all; who was the anchor and strength of our family; who was deeply loved and respected by whoever she came in contact with – we have absolutely no clue, only a few guesses.While she fought for her life, I wrote to the World ARDS Foundation (email@example.com) in sheer desperation, whose president, Eileen Rubin (firstname.lastname@example.org) was a survivor and had been on both sides of the bed to come back and devote the rest of her life, helping other ARDS patients. She explained that the Foundation does not offer legal advice (as it varies from one country’s jurisdiction to another) but they can initiate group prayers for my mom.
When his fever spiked, he thought someone was setting him on fire. When orderlies slid him into an MRI, he thought he was being fed into an oven. Frequent catheter changes seemed like sexual abuse. Dialysis? He thought someone was taking blood out of a dead woman’s body and injecting it into his veins.The horrifying, violent hallucinations plagued David Jones, now 39, during a six-week stay in the intensive care unit at Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital — and for months after he was discharged. He thought he was going crazy and felt very alone.He wasn’t.Recognizing the prevalence of the problem, doctors and nurses across the country are now pushing an ambitious campaign to change practices in intensive care units to reduce cases of “ICU delirium” — a sudden and intense confusion that can include hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia.Anywhere from a third to more than 80 percent of ICU patients suffer from delirium during their hospital stay. And one-quarter of all ICU patients suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder once they leave, a rate that’s comparable to PTSD diagnoses among combat veterans and rape victims. Patients with ICU delirium are less likely to survive and more likely to suffer long-term cognitive damage if they do.
The study, summarized in a report published Oct. 1 in Intensive Care Medicine, followed 193 survivors for five years after ARDS and found that 86 percent experienced decline in at least one of three physical measures — muscle strength, exercise capacity and self-reported physical functioning — or death. Older age and pre-existing illnesses were the key risk factors for physical decline.”Many people assume that once you survive a stay in the intensive care unit, you’re on a constant upward trajectory of recovery. We found that the vast majority of patients do not follow that pathway, instead following a rocky course with fluctuating recovery or a downward trajectory of physical decline,” says senior author Dale Needham, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “These findings have helped us determine that older survivors and those who enter the ICU with other pre-existing illnesses have the highest risk of physical decline, and support future efforts to design and evaluate post-ICU rehabilitation specifically targeting these types of patients.”