How to Be Your Loved One’s Best Advocate through an ICU Stay
Dr. Lara Goitein, MD, a Harvard trained physician specializing in intensive care and lung medicine joins eHealth Radio and the Healthcare and Health News Channels. Her professional interests include quality improvement in healthcare, end-of-life care, the training of new doctors, physician burnout, and improving communication with patients and families. Her new book is The ICU Guide for Families: Understanding Intensive Care and How You Can Support Your Loved One.
Listen to interview with host Eric Michaels and guest Dr. Lara Goitein discuss the following:
You worked as an ICU doctor for twelve years in several different hospitals. But in the past several years you’ve transitioned to practicing mostly in your other area of expertise, as a specialist in lung diseases, as well as in hospital quality improvement. Do you miss practicing ICU medicine? Did you like it?
Why did you write this book?
What are examples of some of the practical ways people can help their loved ones when they are admitted to the ICU?
Are there commonalities in the way family members cope with the stress of an ICU admission for a loved one?
As you point out, family members are often desperate for information about their loved one’s condition. But they sometimes find it difficult to know when and how to communicate with the doctors in the ICU. Do you have any advice?
How is ICU medicine during the COVID-19 pandemic different?
Family members are sometimes asked to make very tough decisions on behalf of patients who are not awake or otherwise able to make decisions on their own behalf. This includes decisions about withholding or withdrawing of life support. In your book you offer some suggestions for how to approach these decisions. Could you talk about that?
Lara Goitein, MD, is a Harvard trained physician specializing in intensive care and lung medicine. She founded a clinician-directed quality improvement program at a Santa Fe, New Mexico, hospital and is President-Elect of the Medical Staff.
Her professional interests include quality improvement in healthcare, end-of-life care, the training of new doctors, physician burnout, and improving communication with patients and families. She is an editorial board member and frequent writer for the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine, and also writes in the lay press, including the New York Review of Books.