Ventilator weaningWhen a loved one is on a ventilator often both the family and the patient are hopeful that the ventilator can be removed quickly. It is desirable for everyone and is considered evidence of recovery. This thought process typically makes families and patients push for a quick ventilator weaning. However, quick weaning may not be in the best interest of the patient. Let’s examine why it is important to focus on safety instead of speed.

Speed May Result in a Return to the Ventilator

If a patient is taken off the ventilator too quickly they may not be ready. In the long run this may result in them needing to be put back on the ventilator. Unfortunately when they are put back on the ventilator it may be harder to get them off again. Taking time to do it right the first time means they are able to stay off the ventilator which is the ultimate goal.

Setbacks Occur

Unfortunately sometimes a setback occurs as a patient is being weaned from the ventilator. For example the patient may develop a fever or an infection. At this point the patient’s body needs to focus on fighting the infection or fever. Attempting to simultaneously wean from the ventilator is not wise. In the interest of safety the ventilator weaning should be paused until the setback has resolved.

Parameter Evaluations May Indicate Need to Stop

Weaning parameters are tests used before and during the weaning process to determine if the patient is a good candidate for weaning. If, during the process, the weaning parameters indicate that success is not likely the weaning will need to stop. Continuing to push forward may cause issues such as infection or respiratory muscle weakness. Although it may seem desirable to just keep going it is not safe.

Your loved one needs you to focus on safety instead of focusing on quickly weaning from the ventilator. To learn more about ventilator weaning contact us.