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Crit Care Nurs Clin North Am. 2012 Sep;24(3):457-68. doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2012.05.001. Epub 2012 Jun 29.

Weaning from mechanical ventilation: where were we then, and where are we now?

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  • 1University of Virginia Health System, School of Nursing, University of Virginia, Box 800826, Claude Moore Building, 225 Jeanette Lancaster Way, Charlottesville, VA 22903-3387, USA.


Weaning patients from long-term mechanical ventilation (LTMV) has been an important focus of clinical process improvement initiatives and research for decades. The purpose of this article is to describe the science that drives our current weaning practices, including (1) preweaning assessment, (2) individualized weaning plans, (3) weaning prediction, (4) the use of protocols and guidelines for weaning trials and sedation management, (5) timing of tracheostomy placement, and (6) system initiatives for the management of LTMV patients. Finally, this article discusses potential interventions for improving the outcomes of patients who require prolonged mechanical ventilation.

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