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עמוד בית
Sun, 23.06.24

Original articles

IMAJ | volume

Journal 3, March 2005
pages: 166-168

Initial Experience with a Mechanical Ventilation Weaning Unit

    Summary

    Background: While increasing numbers of patients require prolonged mechanical ventilation, resources for weaning are either limited (ICU beds) or inadequate (general wards).

    Objectives: To report on our initial experience over a 7 month period with an eight-bed mechanical ventilation weaning unit.

    Methods: Sixty-nine patients requiring MV[1] for >10 days were admitted to the unit (nurse:patient ratio 1:4). Data collected included reason for MV, duration of hospital stay, and MVWU[2] course. Outcome results (successful weaning and mortality) were compared to those in historic controls (patients ventilated in the general wards over a 4 month period prior to the MVWU; n = 100).

    Results: The mean age of the patients was 68 ± 16.6 years and hospital stay prior to MVWU admission 28.6 ± 24.2 days (range 10–72). The main reasons for MV included acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (31%) and recent pneumonia (28%). Mean MVWU stay was 13.5 ± 15.7 days (range 1–72 days). Thirty-four patients (49%) underwent tracheostomy. Fourteen patients required admission to the ICU[3] due to deterioration in their status. Twenty-nine patients (42%) were successfully weaned and discharged to the wards. A further 20 patients were transferred to the chronic ventilation unit of a regional geriatric rehabilitation hospital, where 5 were subsequently weaned and 15 required prolonged ventilation. Compared to controls (matched for age and reason for mechanical ventilation), more MVWU patients underwent successful weaning (49% vs. 12%, P < 0.001) and their mortality rate (n = 12) was significantly lower (17% vs. 88%, P < 0.001).

    Conclusion: The higher level of care possible in a MVWU may result in a significantly improved rate of weaning and lower mortality. The assessment of long-term outcome in patients discharged to pulmonary rehabilitation centers requires further investigation.

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    [1] MV = mechanical ventilation
    [2] MVWU = mechanical ventilation weaning unit
    [3] ICU = intensive care unit

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