July 30, 2011 2 Comments
Before passing through personal experience of seeing ventilators’ patients in last months, I had thought it was any ordinary life supporting machine which can provide comfortable way of respiratory provisions or treatment to patients in critical state of shock and trauma conditions.But after experiencing dear ones in ventilators and seeing the pierced conditions of patients with different invasive tubes including nasotacheal (a tube inserted into the trachea through the nose and pharynx; used to deliver oxygen), orotracheal(that passes through the mouth. and tracheotomy tube(to be inserted; this tube allows a person to breathe without the use of nose or mouth) ,I have come to conclusion it is one of painstaking scenario for caregivers to see the helplessness of love ones on the mercy of so-called modern medical life saving equipment.
Like normal practice before putting into ventilator and all its mandatory accessories paramedics strongly justify the importance of ventilation that by creating negative or positive pressures this machine can overcome the respiratory resistance of person and would improve patients declining conditions but what ever data I had collected while staying in ICU this rarely happens and 80 to 85% patients can’t recover or if able to recovered pass miserable life than before using this life saving device.
In medical practice it can be considered the cornerstone of today’s treatment for cardiac, respiratory failures but the day it is decided that patient is now being placed in ventilator, some kind of nightmare is started for attendants of patient who are strongly attached with him/ her.Along with seeing the continuous torture of insertion tubes into affected patient, the hectic demands of ICU staff for medicines. labs investigations, platelets, special diets all are started at once adding more miseries to already highly disturbed family members. So such kind of mechanical ventilation can be considered an immediate mixed blessing but one can not deny the fact that it’s potential good is not always good enough.
While offering hope of prolonged life, mechanical ventilation along with high chemical dosing of life saving drugs has drastic implications for the quality of life. Whether a particular individual will get benefit from mechanical ventilation is initially based on medical judgement. Often, however no clear diagnosis is established, and even when one has, the individual’s prognosis may remain highly uncertain.
The patient, family members, physicians, nurses, and other professional caregivers may not agree with each other on the prognosis and thus,the decision-making reverts from the medical expertise to the realms of psychology, ethics, religion, economics, and law. Furthermore, the costs associated with this technology is enormous. So, for severely ill patients, their families, and those required to make healthcare decisions, the long-term use of this technology can be the source of considerable anguish and pain.
In country like Pakistan where disorganized medical services are available putting patient on ventilator for unpredictable time itself is some kind of disaster for whole family.Non availability of proper labs which should be synchronized with requirement of this modern medical equipment or absence of life saving drugs in nearby pharmacy create more havoc in life of patients family and chances of other mishaps increases if patients life hangs on this machine for longer period.