Tracheostomy is one of the most common intensive care unit procedures performed. There are serious risks, long-term and acute when placing a tracheostomy. A tracheostomy will seriously negatively effect a persons quality of life.
Disadvantages of tracheostomy:
Complications of tracheostomy:
What is Biphasic Cuirass Ventilation (BCV)?
BCV is a simple concept. BCV provides an efficient and effective method of non-invasive external ventilation and is a real alternative to traditional forms of ventilation.
BCV works using a clear plastic shell called a Cuirass. The cuirass is lightweight and has a foam seal that maintains an airtight fit on the patient’s chest. It is very comfortable to wear. It is available in 12 different sizes, ranging from babies to adults.
Can a tracheostomy be removed if using BCV?
The tracheostomy can be removed provided there is a patent airway and a physician determines that BCV is fulfilling the ventilatory requirements of the patient.
A 23-year-old female came to the hospital requiring complete ventilator support. With a history of respiratory failure, asthma, scoliosis, severe chronic/restrictive lung disease, and many other complications, she was considered “unweanable.”
She had 3 prior intubations, currently has a tracheostomy, and was undergoing a prolonged weaning from mechanical ventilation when her healthcare team decided to utilize BCV. The patient was weaned from complete ventilatory support within 2 weeks. After the initial adjustment period of a few days, the patient was able to tolerate BCV very well.
In just over 2 weeks thereafter, the patient was maintained on 40 percent-humidified O2 via trach collar during the day, and used BCV at night.
When asked about her experience with BCV, the patient wrote, “When they first put it on me, I was nervous about how it would feel. It felt different because my body wasn’t used to it. I felt discomfort at first, but as my body got adjusted to it, I felt much better and the discomfort was no longer there. In the beginning I was on it for 24 hours, but as I got better, now I use it only to go to bed. To me that says a lot. I feel it is worth using it because it has helped me maintain a low CO2 level, and helping my lungs expand so I can breathe better.”
The patient was discharged to home after more than 3 months of intensive therapy on an inpatient surgical unit. She has returned to the outpatient clinic several times since discharge and is doing well.
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