Intubation and Mechanical Ventilation
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Intubation and Mechanical Ventilation Side Effects and Warnings

Written by FoundHealth.

Possible Complications

Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have intubation and mechanical ventilation, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Damage to teeth, lips, or tongue
  • Damage to trachea (windpipe), resulting in pain, hoarseness, and sometimes difficulty breathing after the tube is removed
  • Esophageal intubation (when the tube is accidentally inserted into the esophagus and stomach rather than the trachea)
  • Low blood pressure
  • Pneumonia
  • Lung injury
  • Infection

Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  • Neck or cervical spine injury
  • Pre-existing lung disease (eg, emphysema )
  • Poor condition of teeth
  • Recent meal
  • Dehydration

Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the procedure.

Call Your Doctor

After you are no longer intubated and have left the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Develop a cough
  • Signs of infection, like fever or chills
  • A tendency to breathe in your food or drink
  • Musical sounds when you breathe (called stridor)

In case of an emergency, call 911.

 
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8 Comments

Posted 3 years ago

I just came off one and have sideeffects too. Its hard for me to talk and am very weak. I,ve had to lear ton to walk again and it's hard for me to use my hands. Weakness has been my biggest problem, and memory. I am alive thanks to this machine though........ THATS WHAT COUNTS. Connie

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Posted 3 years ago

Hi Connie, I'm happy to hear your gratitude for your life thanks to this machine. I would also be interested to hear if the side effect wear off and how long it takes. Thanks for sharing your experience!

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Posted 3 years ago

I was intubated for 8 days - 6 months ago,I had double clots bothlungs pneumonia, for past 2 months I have a sore throat but no cold,& sometimes feeling burning or tightning at lower back of throat. I am seeing ENT dr this week. Can anyone help me figure this out?

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mat.j.collins 3 years ago

Hi a1cook2. The ENT doctor will have the best opportunity to explore what is going on with your throat. The way I'm reading this, you didn't have the sore throat for 4 months after the intubation, and then it started 2 months ago? I think that will be important information to share with the doctor.

Also, make sure that you are prepared with a list of information and questions that you believe it is important for the doctor to know. I would be interested in hearing what you found out.

Posted 2 years ago

my wife has been intubated for 8 days and now the doctor says she can no longer breath without continuation of this life supporting method I.E. breathing tube placed through her vocal cords and the supporting ventilation machine? WHY was this not explained before insertion? we were told that it was needed to get ahead of an emergency situation where it might be needed and to prevent pneumonia? Help please .

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blessme
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Posted 2 years ago

my husband was on the machine for three weeks,after a massive heart attack. The doctors said they put him on the machine to help him breathe so his heart could rest. He developed pulmonary edema, and his lungs filled with fluid. He could not be "weaned" from the machine. Even on the machine I could see he was having respiratory distress. He was given water pills to release the fluid. As much as I hated that machine, I believe that is what helped him to let his heart rest and get stronger. He is home now and has to sleep elevated. He is also weak.

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Posted 11 months ago

I was on 4 highly sedated medications and put on a ventilator because I went into Cardiac Arrest and was diagnosed with Mycoplasma pneumonia for 3 weeks. I now have very bad sore throat, and tightness including weakness in my mobility and still barely able to walk. I thank god they saved my life but this throat pain is definitely bothersome but have no flu like symptoms.

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Posted 3 months ago

my mom was intubated for 4 days on the fifth day the she was taken of the ventilator, at first when she was taken off ventilator she was talking to me and my daughter for the first 3 hours, after that she quit talking to us, still today she won't talk to me. she just stares at us we keep talking to her without response, the doctor doesn't seem to think there is a problem, they have said we have to wait and see what happens they think she is just tired. can anyone tell me if they have had this experience.

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cindyMD_9 2 hours ago

I was lucky and didn't even have a sore throat, but this doesn't sound right to me...does she speak to anyone else, is that why the doctors aren't concerned?

Posted 2 hours ago

I was intubated for 5 of the 9 days I was hospitalized, I haven't even been home for a week yet. I'm very lucky & grateful to be alive but I just want to know what to expect/look for in terms of side effects, prognosis, etc. This is the very 1st site that has made me feel "normal", and I have logged some serious search hours in 5 days. Does anyone know what causes the muscle weakness and pain? The sedatives maybe? I received amazing care that humbled me but reading my summary was of no help, didn't even mention intubation or being flown to another hospital mid procedure...I could've written a more harrowing account of the papercut I got from the summary thank you to everyone who shares their story, it's the only real info I've come across!

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