Aintree physios’ study shows support for ventilation patients can be crucial

A study by physiotherapists shows that how well a patient initially adapts to using non-invasive ventilation can have a significant impact on their continued use of this technology.


Karen Ward, who presented the findings to the American Thoracic Society in California

Karen Ward, a consultant physiotherapist at Aintree Hospital NHS Trust and lead author of the study, said it had identified the value of clinicians providing early extra support to patients who need it.

’It was a small study, but showed a strong association between the successful use of ventilators in the first two weeks and their use at three months,’ she said.

The study looked at 90 patients between November 2015 and July 2017. They had an average age of 61 and conditions including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, obesity hypoventilation syndrome and obstructive sleep apnoea.

The patients were treated with ResMed’s Lumis 150 ventilators and were telemonitored using the equipment’s wireless facility.

‘About 18 months ago, we introduced the Lumis 150 for patients,’ said Ms Ward. ‘The device can be adjusted wirelessly. Aintree’s physiotherapy ventilation team can check on the patients and change their treatment without them travelling to the hospital.

‘We are a regional service, so it’s very helpful to many patients. All members of the team can log into an online platform and check how the patient is breathing while they are at home.’

Award funds flight to San Diego

In early May, Ms Ward was ‘delighted’ to win the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Respiratory Care’s first Sarah Keilty award for leadership and innovation. Sarah Keilty was one of the first consultant respiratory physiotherapists and at the forefront of innovation.

Using her prize money for the flight, Ms Ward travelled to San Diego, California, to present the findings to a conference of the American Thoracic Society on 20 May.

‘I hope the results of this study will help to enable any of us who work with ventilation to focus our support on those who need it the most,’ she said.

For more information email, or follow her on Twitter @KarenWardrespPT

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