What happens next?After the termination of therapy with help of ECMO, the patient remains under supervision in the intensive care unit or intensive therapy unit. After the organ and system function recovery, and initial physical activisation inside an intensive care room, it is possible to transfer the patient to a general hospital ward of a profile unit or to the Center/Hospital, from which the patient was delivered.
The first time in the profile unit can be rather difficult for both the patient and his family. The feeling of concern related to a long period of rehabilitation (nursing) is frequent. In our Cen-ter, throughout the entire period of the patient stay, experts of the different areas - cardiology, heart surgery, intensive therapy, physical therapy and recovery treatment, psychology, rehabilita-tion - participate in the course of treatment. This joint team will continue to take care of the pa-tient in the unit as well. At this stage it is essential to understand that to a greater extent the pa-tient will be left to himself. This is related to a smaller number of the medical personnel (in an intensive care unit - one patient is looked after by one nurse, and in a profile unit - duty nurses are responsible for the whole unit) and the need for physical rehabilitation is much greater. The latter means the normalization of the basic physical needs: to eat without any help, to carry out hygienic procedures, and to walk.
The preparation for this period starts with a conversation with a patient, his family and rel-atives before the operation. We motivate the family to visit the patient, to talk to the doctors and nurses even when the patient is in the intensive care unit on ECMO support. This will allow for a best understanding of the essence of the disease, the treatment process and care.
After the dismissal, it is important for us to know the destiny of our patients. Therefore, the data of the planned examination of cardiovascular system (performed in our Center or in the home area) can be taken along for a face-to-face consultation or addressed to our contact details.