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When a patient has been taken off life-support/ventilator, how long..?

..does 'it' take?
my 82yo aunt suffered a massive stroke yesterday, leaving her brain-dead, paralyzed, and blind. after the clot-buster was given, the family agreed to give the medication 24hrs..nothing changed. (she was ill/hospitalized when the stroke occurred.) i believe she's been turned 'off' at this hour.
not really morbid-curiosity, just that i'll have to travel for her services.


Asked by dullscissors at 5:48 PM on Jun. 8, 2011 in Health

Level 49 (343,645 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (8)
  • It could take mins hours or even days depending on how much support she was on to begin with....

    Answer by But_Mommie at 5:50 PM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • It's different in every situation. I have one grandpa who passed away instantly and another who lived days.

    Answer by skittles1108 at 5:54 PM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • I'm sorry for you loss.

    Answer by ItsMe89 at 5:57 PM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • My mom died from liver failure adn when she was taken off the machines she died about 10 min later

    Answer by Michigan-Mom74 at 6:00 PM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • It depends. My grandma suffered a major stroke and was put in the hospital. She extended her stroke and we were told there was nothing more they could do. We took her home actually off the machines and she died 3 days later. They told us that it depended on the person really. Nothing was wrong with my grandma. She had a good heart, kidney, lungs etc so everything had to shut down and then she died.

    Answer by gemgem at 6:14 PM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • My brother died within minutes of the ventilator and life support machines being turned off.

    Answer by meooma at 9:45 PM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • It depends, I work in and Emergency Department and sometimes it can minutes or hours. If it is actually a ventilator and the patient can't breath on their own it is quick. If they were intubated (breathing tube placed in the trachea) to protect the airway then versus the inability to breath they can live longer (days, weeks, years).

    Answer by michcous at 10:14 PM on Jun. 8, 2011

  • i think just the ventilator. i've never dealt with this, so i don't know much about it.

    Comment by dullscissors (original poster) at 5:51 PM on Jun. 8, 2011