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HIV and in ICU with a Tracheostomy
Jul 31, 2012

My husband was admitted to ICU on 10/06/2012, was intubiated for 2 weeks follwoed by a tracheostomy up till now and ventilated. Oxygen levels for vent are 40%. Now the Dr has told me that he suffered a stroke on his right side. Should the Physician refer him to a Neuro and how long must he be in the ventilator before they can wean him ?

Response from Dr. McGowan

I am very sorry to hear that your husband is unwell. I assume that his HIV is well controlled. HIV can be associated with infections in the brain that may mimic a strole if the CD4 count is low.

It is a good idea to have a neurologist involved to monitor your husband's progress and to help plan his post-stroke care and rehabilitation. The time spent on a ventilator will vary. Sometimes after a stroke a person can have an "aspiration" which means that fluids from the mouth and other secretions go donw into the breathing tube and may cause a pneumonia....this could prolong the time on the vent. Also, if the stroke has made him sleepy or somnolent he may not be awake enough to breath on his own without support.

Best to you and hoping for a full and speedy recovery for your husband.

Joe



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