Free to Breathe
Free to Breathe is part of Kentfield Hospital San Francisco’s ventilator weaning program. Ventilator weaning occurs when an individual has required the prolonged support of a ventilator device to breathe. Weaning is the gradual process by which medical professionals decrease ventilator support and individuals begin to breathe on their own again.
Our Free to Breathe program is our unique approach to ventilator weaning challenges. Our goal is to thoroughly evaluate each patient’s condition and identify any issues that may be interfering with the ventilator weaning process. When individuals are struggling to be liberated from a ventilator, we take a neurodiagnostic approach. Using this approach, we perform various diagnostic studies to screen for nerve or muscle dysfunction or injuries that may be interfering with recovery. By fully evaluating the pulmonary, neurological, and muscular mechanics of respiration, our team can work on specific remediation strategies to give patients an improved chance of successfully coming off and staying off the ventilator.
Through our Free to Breathe program, we can evaluate:
- Partially and fully ventilator-dependent individuals.
- Patients and families facing the decision of comfort care versus continuation of a curative treatment plan.
- Patients with uncertain potential for successful weaning.
- Individuals who have recently weaned from a ventilator but are at high risk for respiratory fatigue or decline.
- Individuals who have been diagnosed with progressive neurological conditions affecting respiration.
When ventilator weaning is possible, treatment goals include:
- Liberating the patient from mechanical ventilation.
- Treating ongoing medical issues.
- Preventing medical complications.
- Removing indwelling catheters to prevent infection.
- Improving the patient’s overall strength, swallowing ability, and speech.