Long Term Acute Care

On average, 30% of an Long Term Acute Care Hospital’s (LTACH) patient population is typically the prolonged mechanical ventilator patient with a tracheostomy. These patients receive care in an LTACH to weaned from the ventilator and eventually resume breathing through the upper airway. For many LTACHs, the goal is to rehabilitate these patients so that they can go home or to the Skilled Nursing Facility of their choice with in a target length of stay.

Secretion Mobilization

Challenges to Wean and Decannulate

Often, there are two main challenges to successful weaning and decannulation:

  • increased susceptibility to infection
  • an inability to control secretions

Tracheostomy patients often have copious secretions that can become thickened and retained. Without proper humidification, these secretions can cause mucus plugging.

Many facilities are able to successfully wean patients from the ventilator, but may still struggle with decannulation. Lack of decannulation can severely limit a patient’s discharge options.

Vapotherm Centers of Excellence Gaylord Hospital and Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital have clearly defined decannulation protocols.

The Vapotherm Humidification Solution

Vapotherm membrane heated humidification delivers gas at body temperature in a vapor state to improve mucociliary function and mobilize secretions for tracheostomy patients.

The humidification is created by Vapotherm’s patented Vapor Transfer Cartridge (VTC), which infuses respiratory gas with molecular water vapor. The unique method of humidifying gas keeps water in a vapor state to better protect respiratory tissues and improve patient comfort.

In addition, the triple lumen delivery tube eliminates rain out as the humidification travels to the patient, resulting in less irritation from saturated tracheostomy dressings, and delivery of active humidification to mobilize even the toughest secretions.

Learn More about Ventilator Weaning with Vapotherm

Improved Patient Outcomes

These patient X-Rays show a before and after look the impact of Vapotherm humidification. On the left, the before X-Ray shows a complete white-out of the right lung. The after X-Ray was taken 5 days later. No other airway clearance mechanisms were used, only Vapotherm humidification and standard clinical care practices.

Facilities that use Vapotherm humidification for trach patients can also improve their decannulation rates. Gaylord Hospital in Wallingford, CT improved their decannulation rate from 57 patients in the previous year to 157 patients in the following year. Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals in Nebraska has seen a 17% increase in decannulation success.


Economic Benefits

What would it mean to your facility to reduce days to wean by just one day?

The average 60-bed LTACH can save almost $200,000 with just a one day reduction.

What could your facility save?