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Suffering from CHF, have affected speech post a stroke, advised to insert a breathing tube. What are the pros and cons of this procedure?

Patient -(my grandmother -86 years old) had minor stroke about two weeks ago. A second minor stroke occured over the weekend affecting her right side (speech). I have been informed that it would be best to insert a breathing tube. What are the pros and cons of this procedure? What is the likelihood that a person can come off of this? The patient has CHF and they don t want to over tax her heart . Please share your thouights..
Asked On : Fri, 29 Jun 2012
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Anesthesiologist 's  Response
Hi. Usually the breathing tube (Endotracheal tube) is advised during a stroke when the swallowing reflex is affected which happens many a times if the speech is also slurred. By breathing tube. If that is the case, then she may need the breathing tube, otherwise she may aspirate the contents of the stomach into the lungs which can cause severe pneumonia. Usually, the heart doesnt get much taxed because of the tube insertion, despite of CHF, she may need the tube. She can come out of the breathing tube only when she recovers neurologically, till then she will be on the breathing tube. The factors which can deter her recovery are her old age and CHF. If she needs the breathing tube for a long time, then usually a procedure is done called tracheostomy in which a small hole is made in the trachea and the small tube is inserted with which one can breathe. Patients on tracheostomy can even be discharged home with the tube and they can even speak if the tracheostomy tube is metallic.
Answered: Sat, 21 Jul 2012
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