Eight weeks ago we began the process of trying to wean Scott from the ventilator (respirator, breathing machine).
At the time we started weaning, Scott was on a vent setting of AC of 14 breaths per minute.
The AC setting basically means that the machine will give him 14 breaths each minute regardless of how many breaths he takes on his own.
We then changed him to SIMV of 18 breaths per minute which basically guarantees that he will get 18 breaths per minute. He can breathe more on his own but not less. We then began to decrease his breath rate by one breath per week to allow his body to adjust.
At the time we changed to SIMV, Dr. Jeanne Lipscomb also put him on a pressure support of 18. This just means that the ventilator makes him breath deeper with each breath. We got down to 12 breaths per minute and began decreasing the pressure support. We are now at pressure support of 17 but Scott did not seem to be handling that as well so I increased his breath rate back to 14 and he seems much more comfortable.
We will keep trying and see where God leads us. Do I think Scott can come off the ventilator, yes. Do I know Scott can come off the ventilator, no. Only God knows.
I have a question for anyone who reads this update. Do you know of anyone who has been on a ventilator for years who has been weaned?
I would appreciate knowing and also what they did and how long it took. I have looked on the internet and the only thing I can find are those who have been a vent patient less than a year. Scott has been on the vent continuously for almost 5 years now.
Thank you so much for your prayers and for keeping up with us. It means so much to know there are folks like you out there who care. Scott’s mother, Pam, was able to come over this evening to care for Scott so I had a few minutes to sit down and give you this update. We have been out of the hospital almost 17 months and without help from the family, I could not make it.
Please keep lifting Scott up before the Lord and God bless you all.