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Stroke on left side of brain, breathing via tube, slim chances of survival, swollen tongue and mouth, reason for not breathing ?

My mother just had a massive stroke affecting the left side of her brain . She is currently breathing via a tube and the doctors say that unless she can breath on her own, they don t like her chances of survival. Her tongue and mouth are swollen and I feel that this is the reason why she cannot breath on her own. Is this right?
Asked On : Thu, 15 Mar 2012
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General & Family Physician 's  Response

Welcome to HealthcareMagic forum.

Brain functions are important to maintain ventilatory drive. This is what drives the person to breathe. Besides a proper and full consciousness also assists in proper breathing functions.

In a patient with massive stroke as both consciousness is impaired and ventilatory drive is reduces, this hinders breathing and efforts to breath; hence the mechanical/artificial ventilation. Swollen mouth/tongue has no significant functions to increase breathing activity. It can only cause obstruction which can be easily corrected by mouth gag's or head end elevation when there is an actual breathing effort.

I am sorry for your mother's suffering.

We all wish your mother recovers soon. Yet, based on what you say, the prognosis is guarded.

Answered: Thu, 24 May 2012
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