Recovering From Being on a Respirator?

I turn to the T-Nation boards for this one because I know there are some pretty smart people on here as well as some who are employed in the medical community as well.

Can anyone tell me what they know about recovering from a collapse lung(likely from smoking) while on a respirator? Mainly, is there a point of no return when someone is on a respirator for more than a certain amount of days?

My girlfriends mother has been in the I.C.U. with a collapsed lung since last Sun. The holes in her chest aren’t healing very fast and she’s been sedated and on a respirator the whole time.

Just yesterday the doctor told my girlfriend that its been his experience that patients who are on the respirator more than 3 days usually don’t recover. Needless to say, my girlfriend is beside herself.

Is this just one doctors opinion or is it a widely accepted medical view that a patient is very unlikely to recover if on a respirator beyond X number of days?

I’ve tried googling info, but its all either too vague or to dense with medical jargon to interpret. Any info appreciated.

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Don’t know how much it applies to your situation but I was on a respirator at 80% oxygen for 4 weeks, this was shortly after being born so I don’t know how that changes things. If you think I can help PM me