LIONEL: Breathing Easy
Lionel, who has a history of COPD, was suffering from shortness of breath when he was admitted to the West Roxbury VA Medical Center. After his breathing became abnormally rapid, he was transferred to the ICU. There he was intubated due to fear of impending respiratory failure and upper airway obstruction. After his stay in the ICU, Lionel was discharged from the VA and sent to Kindred Hospital Boston North Shore for continued care.
When he arrived at Kindred, Lionel was using a ventilator for full breathing assistance. He required hands-on help for bathing, dressing, and getting around. As far as eating, he could tolerate only ice chips and a few sips of thin liquids. Lionel's care team at Kindred included a physician, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, a registered dietitian and registered nurses. Each member of this team was committed to his recovery.
Respiratory therapists worked with Lionel to slowly minimize reliance on the ventilator and encourage independent breathing. In just 15 days, he was completely liberated from the mechanical vent.
Lionel's physical therapists were also gentle but aggressive in their treatment. By the time he was discharged, Lionel was performing all tasks independently and could climb a full flight of stairs with someone standing by - an incredible leap from his minimal mobility when he arrived at Kindred.
Lionel was discharged home completely able to breathe, move around, and eat a regular diet on his own. Home health services have been arranged to follow up on his progress to ensure he continues to breathe easy.
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