weaning from ventilator support

weaning from ventilator support

The act of gradually removing persons with reversible forms of respiratory failure who are receiving mechanical ventilation from that support. This may be done by alternating full ventilatory support with increasingly long periods of unassisted breathing. The timing and frequency of the weaning periods should be individualized to each patient. Usually by the time the patient can tolerate 2 hr of spontaneous breathing, ventilatory support may be discontinued.

Patient care

Weaning from mechanical ventilation is done only in the stable patient in whom the acute precipitating event has been corrected. The respiratory therapist should review current arterial blood gas reports, breathing pattern, vital signs, and vital capacity before each attempt at weaning. The procedure should be described to the patient and he or she should be told what to expect and what his or her role in weaning will be. The nurse, physician, and respiratory therapist should reassure the patient that he or she will not be endangered by weaning trials or left alone during these periods. The nurse and respiratory therapist should also provide positive reinforcement regarding the patient's progress and the anticipated successful termination of support. Patient status and response to the procedure should be continuously evaluated.

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