Respiratory Care

Started in 1979, Bethesda Hospital’s progressive Respiratory Care program was one of the first of its kind in the region. Our focus is exclusively on the most difficult respiratory cases. Our patients often have severe respiratory failure, chronic respiratory disability or come directly from an intensive care unit for ventilator weaning.

Oxygen-dependent individuals receive physical rehabilitation and education about their disease. Every effort is made to help individuals live without the aid of a ventilator or oxygen. Our success rates are among the best in the nation. Inpatient and outpatient programs are available.

Our two inpatient programs are for:

Ventilator dependent

Many of these individuals have reached a plateau in their recovery and have been diagnosed as being unable to breathe independently, now or ever. Despite this prognosis, Bethesda has one of the highest wean success rates in the country. The typical inpatient stay lasts 30 to 35 days, and may be followed by participation in an outpatient program or in an ongoing support group.

Respiratory rehabilitation

Patients in this program participate in daily breathing training and education. Patients with chronic respiratory problems receive respiratory, physical and occupational therapy.

Working toward independence

Upon admission to either program, our team assesses each patient to determine strengths, needs, and preferences. We set goals with the patient and family to address some or all of these areas:

  • Activities of daily living
  • Ambulation
  • Anxiety management
  • Community involvement
  • General medicine
  • Grief management
  • Leisure activities
  • Medication management
  • Nutrition
  • Psycho-social adjustment
  • Respiratory management
  • Sexuality/intimacy
  • Spiritual needs
  • Strength, coordination and endurance
  • Transportation
  • Vocational needs

For admission to Bethesda’s Respiratory Care program, potential patients must:

  • Be 16 years or older and undergoing treatment for respiratory failure
  • Be clinically and physiologically stable
  • Need close medical attention and be unable to be served by a non-hospital level of care
  • Have a primary medical condition related to respiratory compromise
  • Require complex respiratory care, including but not limited to ventilator support
  • Require complex intervention by specialized professional staff
  • Display potential for improvement

Contact Respiratory Care

For more information on our Respiratory Care program, call Bethesda's Admissions department: 651-232-2760.