Prolonged mechanical ventilation is a patient safety issue
More than a million patients who are admitted to US intensive care units (ICUs) receive mechanical ventilation each year. Although historically this has only accounted for about 10% of all critically ill patients with up to 34% of these patients being ventilated for more than two days require extended periods of ventilatory support, prolonged ventilation has substantially increased during COVID-19 with more than 70% of COVID-19 patients in the state of Washington, for example, being mechanically ventilated.
Unfortunately, researchers have found that the care of patients who have prolonged mechanical ventilation is expensive and their overall outcomes are often poor. As Dr. Mario Fadila and his colleagues at the SIU School of Medicine and University of Missouri write:
“Prolonged mechanical ventilation increases the risk of pneumonia, barotrauma, tracheal injuries and musculoskeletal deconditioning. At the same time, delayed weaning is associated with increased morbidity, mortality, hospital stay and risk of long-term care facility discharge.”
Our Enhanced Respiratory Care program consists of two facets: