Long Term Acute Care2018-07-18T03:32:36-04:00

Long Term Acute Care

On average, 30% of a 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 be 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 within a target length of stay.

Secretion Mobilization

Challenges to wean and decannulate

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, and delivery of active humidification mobilizes secretions.

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. his x-ray reflects one patient’s experience at Gaylord using Vapotherm’s humidification. Although individual results may vary, Vapotherm believes this patient’s experience is a powerful testimonial in support of the use of Vapotherm’s humidification in an LTACH setting.

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. This data reflects the experiences of two Vapotherm LTACH Centers of Excellence.  Although individual results may vary, Vapotherm believes this data is a powerful example of how effective Vapotherm’s humidification can be in an LTACH setting.


Economic benefits

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

Based on the combination of Vapotherm’s survey of 19 LTACHs in 2014 and a 2005 Critical Care Medicine study by JF Dasta titled “Daily Cost of an Intensive Care Unit Day: The Contribution of Mechanical Ventilation”, The average 60-bed LTACH can save almost $200,000 with just a one day reduction in vent days assuming an 80% occupancy rate.

What could your facility save?

Vapotherm’s survey of 20 LTACHs revealed an average LTACH size of 60-beds. Vapotherm’s survey also found that 30% of LTACH patient at the facilities surveyed were prolonged mechanical ventilator patients that have received a tracheostomy. Additionally, the Critical Care Medicine study found the average cost per vent day is $1,200 versus a non-vent day cost of $600.
Go to Top