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Long-Term Home Mechanical Ventilation in the United States

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Patients requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation are rapidly increasing in number. Improved ICU care has resulted in many patients surviving acute respiratory failure to require prolonged mechanical ventilation during convalescence. Also, mechanical ventilation is increasingly used as a therapeutic option for patients with symptomatic chronic hypoventilation, with an increased effort to predict nocturnal hypoventilation to initiate ventilation earlier. There are continued efforts by ventilator manufacturers to improve home ventilators. These factors point to a likely increase in the number of patients receiving home mechanical ventilation in the United States. Unfortunately, there are no comprehensive databases or national registry of home ventilator patients—therefore the number of home ventilator patients is unknown. There are real challenges to providing mechanical ventilation in the home, which include caregiver training, adequacy of respiratory care, and reimbursement.

Keywords: discharge; home; safety; tracheostomy; ventilation

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4187/respcare.01741

Affiliations: Mobile Medical Maintenance, Leo, Indiana, USA

Publication date: June 1, 2012

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