How is the family to be prepared?

S. Zaccaria, E. Zaccaria, E. L. Spada, S. Zanaboni, C. F. Donner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Planning an adequate programme for home-caregivers is important in order to assure the functional and medical stability of the patient on home mechanical ventilation. Before discharge briefing sessions are given to the caregivers so that they may train with the equipment and learn how to cope with the problems concerning the disease. It is often possible for new patients to meet patients treated before them. The week before discharge of the patient is devoted to the family and caregivers. Firstly a physician explains the clinical situation and gives written information about hours of dependence each day and physical functional capacity. Secondly, as much information as possible is given about prognosis and s or failure exacerbations. Such situations may require emergency measures which caregivers should be able to manage. The whole interdiscipinary team (physician, nurses, respiratory therapists etc.) may play an essential role in teaching how manual resuscitators and emergency supplies have to be used. Other aspects to be demonstrated are hygienic measures for the management of the stoma and the operations connected to secretion toilet, phonation (use of tracheostomy speaking valve), use of heat-moisture exchangers, oxygen catheters and varions connections and adaptators. By learning how to face all of these problems in the hospital before the discharge, the family and other caregivers may be well-prepared to manage the patient at home; however, it is also important to plan an adequate programme of follow-up and set up a 24 hour free line for emergency telephone calls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-415
Number of pages3
JournalEuropean Respiratory Review
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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