As a long-term acute care hospital (LTCH) and one of the nation’s largest ventilator-weaning hospitals, RML was in a unique position during the early days of the COVID-19 crisis to fulfill its mission of providing “the right care at a critical time.” In April 2020, RML opened a unit at RML-Hinsdale dedicated to treating COVID-positive patients who needed to be weaned from ventilator support. Due to demand a unit was opened at RML-Chicago May.
From the outset, RML’s COVID teams are focused on removing patients from the ventilator as early as possible, allowing them to breathe on their own again. Respiratory therapists initiate the first step toward ventilator removal, monitor patient response continuously, and take additional steps when deemed appropriate. This focused approach is made possible by RML’s unique structure: having a respiratory therapist assigned to each patient.
RML’s approach to ventilator weaning has been highly successful.
Currently, patients recovering from COVID at RML are integrated into units in the hospital, following the safety protocols of both the CDC and RML’s own COVID Task Force.