Mechanical Ventilation: Important facts in the era of COVID-19


In late 2019, a virus that belongs to the family of coronaviruses that could cause anything in between common cold to severe acute respiratory syndrome started to spread largely across the globe making it recognized as a respiratory disease. COVID-19 and its symptoms can range from mild to severe which may result in different levels of respiratory failures each of which will need a different kind of treatment, depending on the severity level. Some patients who were infected with COVID-19 need mechanical ventilation to help them overcome breathing complications and maintain their oxygen saturation level.

Before COVID-19: what do we know about Mechanical Ventilation?

Mechanical Ventilation is well-known for helping patients who are suffering from aspiration pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and many more conditions.

As research and studies have deduced certain categories of patients and aging people are more vulnerable to the COVID-19. Many people of whom had significantly higher risk to develop the critical illness if they contracted this virus were older people due to the underlying health conditions that exist or could develop respiratory failures such Chronic Lung Diseases, Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia, Interstitial Lung Disease, pulmonary hypoplasia; especially the elders that had to undergo in prior times for surgeries or operations to treat their medical conditions of Congenital Heart Diseases, Cardiac or  Vascular anomalies, Spinal Cord Injuries, Head Trauma; most of which those cases will need a ventilation mechanism to survive.

Additionally, Mechanical Ventilation help infants or new babies who are born with significant heart disease and congenital conditions that may result in complications of metabolism as well also newborn babies with genetic disorders such Trisomy 13, 18 and 21, and  Motor Neuron Diseases Especially Spinal Muscle Atrophy which destroys the muscles activity of walking, swallowing, and breathing. As well as Neuromuscular disorder patients including Duchenne Muscle Dystrophy and Muscle Dystrophies will also need the support of Mechanical Ventilation. On the other hand, patients with neurologic conditions that can directly impact the nerves involved in the swallow mechanism include stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis may also need the help of Mechanical Ventilation.

But are the Intensive Care Units across the globe had the needed capacity and set up to admit all those patients?

Due to the widespread of the COVID-19 among six continents, the world was then introduced to a critical obstacle where most of the intensive care unit beds were fully occupied by the COVID-19 victims which only added pressure on the healthcare sector throughout this battle against such an invisible enemy. Moreover, as different severity levels of infection were among those patients, it was hard at many places around the world to supply all of their intensive care unit patients with mechanical ventilators, that keep patients breathing when they have a respiratory failure as caused by this epidemic.

Since respiratory bacteria and viruses can be transmitted in air droplets and COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, this sets the stay at intensive care units in hospitals for patients with a critical illness at a significant high-risk level of contracting the virus, as they are one of the most vulnerable people to this virus. In parallel to that, this situation has enforced some hospitals to separate COVID-19 patients from other patients that are as well in need of intensive care units.

Role of Long-Term Care facilities for the Mechanically Ventilated patients

Long-term Care facilities were previously designed to provide patients with the needed rehabilitation programs in a home-like setup and free-up the ICUs in other hospitals for the potential cases that may need the support of admission and hospitalization form acute conditions. Long-term care facilities play a crucial role in emancipating the ICUs, elevating the bed capacity, and keeping those patients away from any possible infections.

Cambridge Medical and Rehabilitation Center was found in the year 2012, designed to be a long-term care facility to restore health and bring back peace of mind to each of the patients and their family members. Previously they introduced a one of a kind program as a Transitional Vent Unit through an approach that combines the latest medical technology of mechanical ventilators and evidence-based practices of weaning techniques which have proven its importance for the patients.  

Cambridge Medical and Rehabilitation Center takes care of patients with critical illness and respiratory failures by providing their patients with a peaceful stay at a home-like friendly environment, under a supervision of a full team that combines the state of the art of rehabilitation with specialized therapists; as well the latest internationally accredited best medical practices by specialized physicians, intensivist, physical medicine, and general practitioners.

Therefore, this will help free patients from ventilator dependence, with some of the best outcomes in the nation. Making Cambridge Medical and Rehabilitation Center a safe and a secure place in terms of infection rates (including Ventilator Acquired Pneumonia) low when compared with similar programs throughout the country. In addition to a consistent high weaning ratio for patients that are dependent on mechanical ventilators with a promising weaning protocol that is highlighted by a 72% success rate.

Hence the architecture of this specialized program, Transitional Vent Unit, solves a problem for patients to move out from hospitals by securing them a private stay, that grants all that is needed for a successful journey of a patient’s experience in their required transition from hospitalization back home. The focus of the individualized rehabilitation and medical plans that are set for each patient will depend on the patient and family goals. As Cambridge Medical and Rehabilitation Center continues to serve communities for making better futures come true, yet our vision will continue to be the leader of Post-Acute Rehabilitation and Long-Term care services by providing exceptional patient experiences and clinical outcomes across the MENA Region.