Waunakee Manor’s response to COVID-19, Coronavirus

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Click here to find out more about the COVID-19 virus, signs & symptoms. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/index.html

A few months ago, we proudly opened our state-of-the-art 20-bed ventilator unit here at Waunakee Manor. This not only represents the Waunakee standard of excellence and our commitment to quality but also elevates our ability to care for your loved one, providing more resources to aid in their recovery and rehabilitation – because your health and care is our top priority.

This subject can be complicated and, to be honest, intimidating and often a little scary. But that is what we are here for, to walk you through the care we provide every day and arm you with the knowledge to make these difficult issues a little bit easier.

Specifically, I’d like to talk about the importance of ventilators, our advanced new units and partnership with Lincare, and about how all of this will help you and, most importantly, your loved one.

What Is a Ventilator?

A ventilator is a machine that helps someone breathe when they are unable to do so by themselves. It mechanically moves air into, through, and out of the lungs. These life-saving machines are used in critical situations, and while this can be hard to think about, it is vital to understand.

A ventilator may be required when someone has severe difficulty breathing or can no longer breathe on their own. This can happen due to:

  • A respiratory or other illness that restricts airflow
  • Injury that impairs breathing
  • More advanced medical treatment or procedures when breathing assistance is required, such as during surgery when general anesthesia is used

They are also employed for more medically complicated situations such as:

  • Respiratory complications like pneumonia, influenza, and coronaviruses (e.g., COVID-19)
  • Neurological, cardiac, or trauma issues
  • Asthma, COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, ARDS, and lung cancer

A patient on a ventilator mechanically “breathes” through a tube attached to the ventilator. There are two methods for doing this:

  • Intubation – This is the procedure of placing a medical-grade plastic tube in the patient’s mouth or nose to allow the ventilator to breathe for them.
  • Tracheostomy – Tracheal intubation is a surgical procedure in which a plastic tube is inserted into the patient’s trachea (windpipe). This is typically done for more serious or long-term intubations.

This can all sound very intense, and that is why it is vital to have professionals with advanced equipment available if your loved one is in this situation.

Post-Hospital Ventilator Care: Long-Term Acute Care vs. Post-Acute Care

While your loved one might start on a ventilator in the hospital, they may be discharged to another facility or community once their condition is stable. Often, this is because they require more advanced care and treatment to maintain their recovery.

It is also possible your loved one did not have a hospital stay but has chronic or other respiratory care needs that require a longer stay at a level of attention that is not practical in a hospital.

Some services that may be required after discharge or independently of a hospital visit can include:

  • Ventilator weaning
  • Chronic ventilator care
  • Trach weaning and decannulation
  • Non-invasive ventilation
  • Aerosol medication therapy
  • Respiratory therapist supervision
  • Chest percussion
  • Cough assistance

Sometimes these ventilator dependencies and care are handled by a Long-Term Acute Care facility.

Long-Term Acute Care facilities (LTACHs) are different from Post-Acute Care facilities, such as Skilled Nursing Communities, in the following ways:

  • Offer more advanced and intensive care solutions than an SNC
  • Are better equipped to handle severe medical conditions
  • Can adequately and more effectively address these critical situations over an extended period

However, with our state-of-the-art ventilator unit, we can bring this higher level of care to your loved one in a more communal and supportive environment with greater flexibility for transition afterward.

At Waunakee Manor, we can offer these types of services with a significant focus on rehabilitation. This allows your loved one access to things like additional therapies to improve their recovery and treatment while still receiving the attention required for someone with a compromised respiratory system and ventilator dependencies.

Our advanced and innovative approach to care sets us apart from other Post-Acute Facilities, which do not usually handle such a specific and high level of care. Our new care unit puts us on par with LTAC facilities in ventilator care, decannulation, and other essential respiratory protocols.

Our State-of-the-Art 20-Bed Ventilator Unit

Our ventilator unit features the highly advanced LTV 1150 ventilator. Along with our partnership with Lincare, our additional cutting-edge equipment, and our highly trained care staff, we bring a high level of professionalism, technology, and experience your loved one needs when confronting respiratory complications.

The LTV 1150 dramatically improves our ability to provide specialized and advanced care:

  • It allows for easy transition from being on a ventilator in a hospital to being a part of our community
  • It is highly customizable, versatile, compact, and adaptable to your loved one’s ability and mobility
  • It is portable, empowering residents to engage with their community while still retaining the advanced treatment they require
  • It has a 5-hour battery and emergency backup, providing a level of freedom essential to both short- and long-term recovery
  • Depending on your loved one’s individual treatment and needs, our ventilator systems can adapt appropriately

The difference in our care goes beyond the LTV 1150 to bring you an extra level of safety. We know that your safety and your loved ones’ safety is critical. Our Masimo Root Patient Monitor monitoring system helps us keep a watchful eye on those we care for and care most about:

  • The Masimo Root is an extremely powerful and innovative monitoring system
  • Its SafetyNet allows our caregivers access to documentation, vital signs, and essential metrics for continually staying connected to your loved one’s changing needs
  • Automated calculations of Early Warning Scores, adaptable design, and implementation make monitoring more reliable.
  • Integrated non-invasive monitoring systems make this complicated process a little easier to manage for your loved one
  • All information is fed directly and continuously to the care team, empowering them to make quick and individual-oriented care decisions

We know that trust and reliability are of the utmost importance. With over 50,000 LTV ventilators installed globally, we trust LTV ventilators with those most important to us. That is also why we have partnered with Lincare.

Our Partnership with Lincare

Lincare is a leading supplier of respiratory-therapy products that consistently beat the national averages for ventilator weaning and decannulation statistics. With locations all over the country and a worldwide footprint, Lincare is a key partner in bringing the best care options to your loved one.

In coordination with Lincare’s Ventilator Program, we offer complete management with an experienced and extensive team. This includes a Respiratory Therapist manager, 24-hour a day Respiratory Therapist staffing, and a pulmonary Medical Director; all allowing for a comprehensive and extensive evaluation before your loved one comes to our community. Lincare works closely with us to ensure our community is best able to provide successful outcomes for your loved one.

Why Is It Important To Have A Ventilator Unit In Your Community?

Having an advanced and properly implemented ventilator unit in our community reduces the impact on your loved one when transitioning to the community and eventually to home. Being on a ventilator is hugely impactful on the body and can be psychologically taxing. Any improvement and simplification of this process are incredibly beneficial.

Our unit can also help expand your loved one’s continuum of care in the community, and can be an essential component in allowing your loved one to age in place. Whether you are coming from a hospital or have longer-term ventilator dependency, our specialized unit can remove the need to leave your community to receive advanced care, and offers a more personal and communal experience than an LTAC facility.

We bring our community mindset to respiratory care, focusing on mobility and integration into a supportive environment during rehabilitation and care. Importantly, since we are the last step before homecare, we can also train you and your family to assist with continued care after home discharge.

Unfortunately, these services have become even more critical with the new COVID-19 concerns. While this crisis may not be with us forever, it is definitely a long-term health emergency. Our facilities and equipment are available to help those who may require additional respiratory assistance in the recovery phase after a COVID-19 infection has cleared.

It is vital to get this type of care right and make it as easy for your loved one as possible. Our professionally trained staff and state-of-the-art units allow us to do just that. Visit our website to find out more about how we can help you and your loved one receive that extra level of care you’ve been looking for and deserve.