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  • it's every traveler's worst nightmare.

  • You're taking a red eye back into the U.

  • S.

  • After going out of the country on business when suddenly disaster strikes halfway through the in flight movie and the complimentary glass of champagne, the plane goes down hurdling toward the ground at hundreds of miles an hour.

  • As the plane's nose hits the concrete.

  • You're positive that you're about to die, but you don't by some amazing miracle you've survived the ordeal.

  • The downside.

  • Your injuries are severe, you're in a coma, and you've suffered from multiple organ failures.

  • In the early days of aviation.

  • A problem like this would mean you're pretty much a gagner, but not today.

  • You'll be put on life support, keeping you alive While doctors can try to expedite your recovery.

  • Life support is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot by figures in the media and characters In every primetime medical drama.

  • You probably picture a mangled patient connected to a bunch of wires and beefing machines, but what actually is all of this and what's it like to be on the receiving end of life support treatment?

  • Well, let's start with the basics.

  • Life support is a broad umbrella term for the machines, medication and treatment used to keep the patient alive after catastrophic organ failure.

  • Typically, it's a stopgap until the organs can be repaired or replaced, or, in more tragic cases, thio easa patients passing toward the end of their life.

  • For some life support machines are a permanent part of life, such as in the case of kidney dialysis for people with kidney failure and portable ventilators to assist those with breathing problems.

  • Because life support is a diverse collection of treatments meant to work for a range of health issues, we'll explore each one and take a look at what it might be like to experience it first.

  • Mechanical ventilators, also known as respirators.

  • These air typically short term solutions for conditions that make it difficult to breathe independently, including pneumonia, oedema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other miscellaneous lung damage.

  • If you suffered a collapsed or punctured along during the crash, you'll be hooked up to this machine.

  • The respirator facilitates gas exchange and provides breaths to the sufferer while their body and the health care professionals work on healing you.

  • While the respirator is typically Onley used for short term conditions there sometimes employed during later stages of debilitating chronic illnesses such as paralyzing spinal injuries and Lou Gehrig's disease, Ventilators are more likely to be a permanent necessity in this case.

  • So what exactly does being hooked up to a ventilator mean?

  • Well, if the doctors deem the threat to your respiratory system sufficient, you'll be sedated and administered with an endotracheal tube or E T.

  • For short.

  • This is a tube fed in through your nose or mouth and down into the trachea or the wind pipe.

  • The E T is then connected to the ventilator and used to perform a variety of tasks from injecting high concentrations of oxygen into oxygen starved lungs.

  • Thio equalizing the pressure to prevent collapsed lungs.

  • That last one is a process known as positive and expire, a torrey pressure or peep.

  • If the trachea is obstructed by, say, a tumor, the doctors will do things slightly differently.

  • Rather than going in via the nose or mouth, they'll access to the trachea by way of a tracheostomy.

  • In this case, the doctors will puncture a hole into your trachea and insert a tracheostomy tube into the throat to allow for breathing patients will be closely monitored and intensive care units and hooked up to the diagnostic machines that track heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure and oxygen saturation.

  • Patients on a ventilator will be entirely unconscious, so you won't even really know what's happening to you, though.

  • If you're lucky enough to wake up.

  • But you still need a ventilator, you may feel a slight discomfort from the tubes.

  • If you've been administered within endotracheal tube, you won't be able to talk or eat until it's removed.

  • But that's a pretty small price to pay for your next breath.

  • If, however, you remain unconscious or hooked up to a ventilator for an extended period of time, you don't need to worry about starvation.

  • That's because of a process often used to supplement artificial respiration.

  • Artificial nutrition Sometimes CA, locally known as tube feeding artificial nutrition, is used in a number of context, such as feeding injured patients on life support that obstructs the mouth, comatose or mentally ill patients unable to feed themselves, and terminally ill patients experiencing a loss of appetite.

  • There are three different varieties of artificial nutrition.

  • Total parental nutrition, also known as TPN nasal gastric tubes, also known as N G tubes and gassed Rostami tubes, also known as G tubes and PG tubes.

  • There's also intravenous hydration, which keeps your liquids at the correct healthy levels when you're unable to drink.

  • Total parent Colonel Nutrition is a short term measure that passes the nutrients a patient would normally achieved through eating directly into the bloodstream.

  • Nutrients are drip fed into the patient's blood via tube, typically inserted into the neck or armpit that threads through the circulatory system toward the heart.

  • Part of the reason this method is so often purely short term is that the irritation and infection risk is quite high.

  • Nasal gastric tubes are a little less complicated and risky of feeding.

  • Tube is inserted into the nose and threaded through the patient's nasal passage down the throat and directly into the stomach.

  • This is excellent for patients who for whatever reason, can't swallow.

  • Patients are fed a liquid food solution from this tube, either continuously over a period of days or in several larger bursts with spaces in between.

  • Admittedly, despite the lower infection, rate conscious patients do still tend to report that these tubes are extremely uncomfortable.

  • Gassed Rostami tubes come in two varieties.

  • G tubes and P E G tubes.

  • G tubes, air feeding tubes installed directly into the stomach itself with a surgical procedure on the patient's abdomen.

  • P E G tubes, which stands for per cutaneous endoscopic gassed Rostami tubes are installed endoscopic lee and are therefore a little less invasive.

  • Intravenous hydration involves inserting additional fluids into a patient through tubing inserted into the patient's veins via a needle.

  • Typically in the risk, of course, like a lot of the procedures in this video, artificial nutrition comes with riel risks and isn't ever employed lightly.

  • Any invasive procedure, even in a sterile hospital environment, comes with considerable infection risks that can lead to life threatening conditions like pneumonia.

  • Incidentally, lung malfunctions lead us quite nicely to our next form of life support.

  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR.

  • Surprised?

  • Yeah, The simple act of performing CPR on someone technically counts as life support as the purpose of this technique is helping someone who has stopped breathing as a result of cardiac arrest, suffocation or drowning.

  • CPR takes the form of a steady Siris of chest compressions meant to keep the blood flowing through the body while the victim is unconscious almost like an artificial external heartbeat.

  • CPR is typically performed by a civilian trained in first aid while waiting for a professional doctor or first responders to arrive.

  • If you were given CPR, it's likely right after the crash, when terrified civilians came to inspect the wreckage.

  • You were lucky enough to be found by a civilian who knew some basic first aid, and as a result, you've lived to tell the tale.

  • You may experience some fractured ribs and bruising as a result of the chest compressions.

  • But trust us a couple weeks of chest pain in the aftermath is a lot nicer than a stopped heart.

  • And considering you just fell out of the sky, it's really the least of your worries right now.

  • Another common piece of medical technology that you might be surprised counts as life support is the humble defibrillator.

  • That's right.

  • This handy device is famous for bringing people back from the brink of death.

  • You may have seen upwards of 1000 movie scenes where a frantic paramedic yells clear and then shoves to electrified paddles onto a patient's chest.

  • But what exactly is happening there?

  • Well, defibrillators, air used in the event of cardiac arrest and arrhythmia in order to return the heart back to its normal rhythm.

  • It does this by passing a high intensity electric shock directly through the heart.

  • It's not unlike using jumper cables to restart a stopped car, and typically the only side effect is some electrical burning on the skin of the chest.

  • While the fib relation is typically performed by medical professionals, it's not uncommon to see defibrillation kits complete with instructions posted around public areas for emergency situations.

  • However, not all heart conditions call for a return to rhythm.

  • Some are a little more severe in cases of life threatening heart failure.

  • The life support device you'll need is the left ventricular assist device, also known as the L VAD, the AL that acts as a kind of artificial pump connected to the left ventricle of the damaged heart leading through to the aorta.

  • This machine is wired out of the body with a cable called the Drive Line to an external controller operated by the patient.

  • It keeps the blood pumping when the hardest to damage, to do so on its own.

  • Even having the al vat installed involves a major surgery and It's typically considered only a temporary measure while the patient is on the heart transplant waiting list, which like many waiting lists, is frustratingly slow moving down through the torso.

  • Next comes the kidney dialysis machine Kidneys perform a vital role in the body by filtering waste materials and toxins out of the blood.

  • So when someone experiences kidney failure and they're placed at the back of another extremely long organ transplant waiting list, the dialysis machine steps in tow.

  • Lighten the load.

  • This machine acts as an artificial external kidney, filtering the blood out of the body and removing waste products and excess water.

  • The blood is then diffused with the sailing solution, called Diallo state, before that solution is then diffused with the blood before returning the blood to the patient's body.

  • This process can be incredibly arduous and time consuming for the patient, especially considering that dialysis needs to be repeated frequently until the patient can eventually get a kidney transplant.

  • Finally, in our tour of life support equipment, we have extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or e CMO.

  • This treatment, typically used on incredibly sick newborns and infants, uses a pump in an artificial long to replace the functions of a failing heart and or respiratory system, usually with two catheter tubes connected at the neck in the groin.

  • E.

  • C M O is often employed for ailments like congenital heart defects and pneumonia, where the patients cardiopulmonary system has been compromised and requires a bypass.

  • As you can probably predict.

  • At this point, it does come with its own risks, like infection and the possibility of causing blood clots, though in many cases of the e c m O being used, the health of the patient is often so severely compromised that doctors don't have time for apprehension.

  • So those are a selection of the life support machines and treatments you may find yourself connected to after your horrific plane crash.

  • If your run of luck continues in time, you'll begin a slow but steady process toward full recovery.

  • You'll regain consciousness, and your damaged organs will either be repaired or replaced a true happy ending.

  • But what if you don't get better?

  • What if your odds of survival, even on protracted life support, are looking bleak?

  • What if it seems like you might be in a coma you probably won't wake up from, Well, this is a hotly debated ethical issue.

  • But there are a few possible paths to what is ultimately the same outcome if you left a do not resuscitate order before you were incapacitated.

  • If you happen to stop breathing or experienced cardiac arrest, the doctors will simply allow you to pass if you leave and allow natural death order.

  • The doctors will not administer medical procedures to try to prevent your death in the event of a condition warranting life support and will instead focus on easing your passing, making sure you die as comfortably and painlessly as possible.

  • However, things will get slightly more complicated if you haven't left any written orders in the event of being incapacitated and going on life support, this duty will then pass to the doctors and your next of kin.

  • If you cease brain activity and the doctors determined through tests that you're unlikely to recover, they will recommend turning off life support to your next of kin.

  • This typically involves switching off the respirator and artificial nutrition of a comatose patient showed your next of can choose this option.

  • You'll be dead within a few minutes due to a lack of oxygen to the brain.

  • Sadly, not everyone who receives life support is able to return to life afterward.

  • But if it's any consolation, you won't even be aware that it happened.

  • Now go check out what happens to you just before you die and what doctors wish their patients knew about death.

it's every traveler's worst nightmare.

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What Is It Actually Like To Be On Life Support

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/11/10
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