Last updated 3 months ago
Tracheotomy is a procedure that introduces an opening in the front of the neck into the windpipe to ease breathing. Although the procedure may be performed for a variety of reasons, it is most commonly done after prolonged use of a ventilator or if an object is blocking the airways. If you or a loved one has recently undergone a tracheotomy, read on to learn more about the process and how skilled home care from Independence Plus can improve the safety and efficiency of healing.
Once a tracheotomy procedure has been performed, patients may reside in the hospital for a few days while the tracheostomy matures. During this time, nutrients are typically given intravenously or through a feeding tube, as swallowing may interrupt the healing process. Because the tracheostomy tube interferes with how the voice box functions, most men and women who undergo tracheotomy are also unable to speak normally after their procedure.
The skilled and licensed Respiratory Care Practitioners (RCPs) at Independence Plus are able to assist patients with a smooth transition from the hospital to home environment. Working with the patient and his or her caregivers, they are able to create a plan for efficient and effective home care using a variety of advanced respiratory equipment. RCPs also can assist home caregivers in learning to operate equipment as prescribed. Our skilled practitioners are always available to take calls and provide clinical support, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Once the patient is established at home, the RCP will contact the caregiver monthly to ensure that the patient has all the supplies they need.
The team at Independence Plus is dedicated to providing our patients the best quality care possible in the comfort of their own homes. If you are interested in learning more about how our RCPs, nurses, or clinicians can help to improve your health and independence at home, consider contacting our staff today at (630) 463-4400.
Last updated 3 months ago
Whether you are preparing to return home from the hospital or have recently been diagnosed with sleep apnea, professional home care services can help you stay healthy and independent. Visit these resources or call Independence Plus at (708) 689-4336 for further information.
Learn what causes central sleep apnea and how it manifests in patients from the American Sleep Apnea Association.
For a detailed list of the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Health encyclopedia.
The New York Times presents a helpful question-and-answer page about sleep apnea, its effects on patients, and the treatment options available.
This article from The New York Times describes the many ways that a discharge planner works to help patients transition from hospital care to the home setting.
Last updated 3 months ago
If you are curious whether a patient can speak while using a ventilator and how the process occurs, take a look at this video. Using realistic 3D animation, it explains how the Philips Respironics V200 ventilator enables patients with a tracheotomy tube to talk.
The speaking mode option for the V200 ventilator is conveniently located on the ventilator’s main user interface. Once it has been selected and the trach tube cuff has been deflated, air that enters the lungs can be exhaled through the larynx, permitting speech.
Independence Plus’ licensed respiratory care practitioners can help you set up and learn to operate Philips Respironics ventilators as well as those from a variety of other manufacturers. Learn more about our home ventilator program by calling (708) 689-4336 or contact us online.
Last updated 4 months ago
If you wake up tired every morning and constantly feel sleepy throughout the day, you may have sleep apnea and not even know it. Sleep apnea involves repeated periods throughout the night where a person stops breathing for a few seconds up to a minute or more. This has serious consequences for its sufferers, as many experience episodes of oxygen deprivation throughout the night—which can affect sleep quality and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea, which occurs when the soft tissues of the mouth and throat relax into the airway causing a blockage. Unfortunately, sufferers tend not to be aware of the issue, as the sleep disruption is often not enough to fully awaken them. The most common indicator of sleep apnea is therefore excessive daytime sleepiness, which may manifest in difficulty staying awake while working, watching television, or driving. Sleep apnea is often detected by a bed partner, whose own sleep is disrupted by the sufferer’s loud snoring and intermittent cessation of breathing. Other signs of sleep apnea include irritability, depression, memory problems, and headaches that occur in the morning.
Central sleep apnea originates in the brain, where the involuntary signal to breathe is weakened or disrupted. Sufferers may have had a stroke, physical damage to the skull or spine near the brainstem, a degenerative neurological disease such as Parkinson’s, congestive heart failure, or may not have any associated causes for the condition. The symptoms are similar to those of obstructive sleep apnea, and a person can even experience both types simultaneously.
Fortunately, sleep apnea can often be successfully treated with a positive airway pressure machine, which keeps air flowing through a facial mask to ensure that the patient breathes continuously during sleep. The Sleep Disorder Program, offered by Independence Plus, provides professional setup of respiratory equipment, as well as mask fittings performed in our dedicated office area or in the comfort of your home. Call (708) 689-4336 to schedule your consultation.
Last updated 4 months ago
For many patients, leaving the hospital and returning home is a great relief. Yet, while your home may indeed be more comfortable, it is often ill-equipped to meet the medical needs of chronically ill or recuperating patients. Skilled private duty nursing services can help to smooth the transition, enabling you to enjoy the following benefits:
Continuity of Care
Returning home after an extended hospital stay can be exhausting in itself, and coordinating care between your physicians and home care may seem daunting. For this reason, Independence Plus can handle all aspects of the home nursing arrangement, from communicating with your doctors and discharge planner to scheduling home care staff to be present as often as necessary.
Professional Medical Assistance
Whether you live alone or have family members close by, hiring a skilled private duty nursing agency can help you retain your independence and dignity. Your nurse can perform medical procedures, such as lymphedema wrapping, peritoneal dialysis, catheter changes, and administration of enteral nutrition. This will help you avoid repeat hospital visits while enabling you to maintain your privacy around family caregivers.
Comprehensive Patient Education and Training
While you may already understand your condition and what treatments are necessary to help you maintain a good quality of life, you may not be familiar with the steps involved in these procedures. Our skilled private duty nurses can help you take charge of your personal wellbeing by teaching you how to use home medical equipment, keep incision sites and stomas clean, and minimize your chances of developing an infection or complication.
At Independence Plus, our goal is to maximize positive outcomes and promote functional independence at home in the most cost-effective manner. Call (708) 689-4336 today to learn more about our skilled private duty nursing and our other home care options, including respiratory home medical equipment and home health visits.