Depending on their medical diagnosis, most patients effectively manage long-term mechanical ventilation while living at home with their families. They go to school and work, travel, participate in their communities — and have a good quality of life.
The ability to manage daily activities while living with a ventilator varies according to age, medical condition, anxiety, depression, and previous level of function. For best results, the patient, caregiver, and every member of the support team should share the same lifestyle goals.
People gain strength and stamina through exercise. A person who is more mobile (using their muscles more often) requires less oxygen to deliver the same amount of energy to the muscles, when compared to the more someone who is less mobile. Exercise trains the muscles of the body to be more efficient at utilizing oxygen.
When people keep moving (exercising) and doing things for themselves like walking to the rest room, showering, grooming, shopping, visiting the doctor, visiting friends, and attending social, religious, and educational gatherings, they live longer, feel better, and feel happier.1,2,3
Be aware that patients with a tracheostomy tube may lose their appetite. Because they cannot breathe through the nose or mouth, they may lose the ability to smell and taste food.
A patient in pain may have difficulty coping with ventilation — but pain medications may also be problematic for ventilator-assisted patients. Morphine, for example, can suppress a patient’s breathing. Anti-anxiety medications can make the patient very sleepy and unresponsive. Other medications make patients confused.
The information and guidance presented on this website is informational only and not intended to influence practice or supersede the instructions for use of any specific device.