The REMEO® ventilator weaning unit in Nashville, TN admitted a patient, age 41, in August 2014 that had suffered from an intracranial hemorrhage and an intraventricular hemorrhage and hydrocephalus. To treat this condition a ventricular drain was placed. The risks associated with this drain were many and the prognosis that the doctors gave this patient was poor. She, however, had the determination to continue with care.
Upon admission to our REMEO® unit the patient was on the ventilator in CPAP mode and had a tracheostomy in place. The patient continued with CPAP and trach collar trials. After being at the unit 14 days, she was weaned from her ventilator and was downsized from an 8DCT trach to a 6DCT trach, and proceeded to tolerate Passy Muir Valve trials during the day which allowed her to begin to communicate effectively. After 14 days of continued weaning, she was downsized from a 6DCT trach to a 4DCT trach and with this downsize she was able to tolerate capping trials up to 12 hours daily. The patient had about 65 days of total weaning before she was able to have her trach removed. The patient was very determined that she would be able to return home. She had a very strong support system including her father who would visit daily and encourage her to have patience with the staff and stay here and let the Respiratory Therapists wean appropriately.
After being discharged from REMEO® services on October 3, 2014 she continued her rehab therapy for a few more weeks with our host facility until she was finally able to be discharged home. She stayed with her immediate family less than one week before she was able to go home on her own. She was discharged home without the need for the ventilator, trach or even oxygen.
On May 5, 2015 the patient returned to our REMEO® unit to visit and no one even knew who she was until she told us her name. She walked in without any difficulty and had no visual restrictions after all of the obstacles she had faced and overcome with this acute onset illness. The staff was amazed at how great she looked and how well she was able to mobilize. She said she is completely independent, lives alone and drives everywhere she needs to go. She is still able to live her life as she wanted to and lives it to the fullest. She is able to do this because of the support from her family, the support of the medical staff here at our REMEO® unit and most of all her total determination to get well.
Jodi Perry, RRT
REMEO® Nashville, TN