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Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 2014 Mar;139(11):527-33. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1349650. Epub 2013 Nov 7.

[Weaning from long-term mechanical ventilation: data of a single weaning center from 2007 to 2011].

[Article in German]

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Krankenhaus Kloster Grafschaft, Schmallenberg.



Regional weaning centers play a more and more important role in the weaning process of long-term ventilated patients. The medical center Kloster Grafschaft is one of the oldest and largest centers in Germany. There is very little published data from larger weaning centers in Europe.


From 2007 to 2011 all weaning patients were registered in a database. Additional information of the transferring hospitals was inquired. Prolonged weaning was defined by a period of at least 7 days of mechanical ventilation as well as three unsuccessful weaning trials.


Data from 867 of 916 registered patients could be analyzed. 71.1% could be successfully weaned from mechanical ventilation. All patients were suffering from a hypercapnic insufficiency as well as a variety of secondary diagnoses, on average 15.1 per patient. The median of age was 70 years, 62 % were male. Prior to hospital transfer patients had been ventilated for a median of 41 days. Time to successful removal of the artificial airway was 8 days according to the DRG code directive and 13.4 days when non-invasive ventilation (NIV) time was included. Of the 616 patients who could be successfully weaned, 42 % were discharged on NIV. Out of the 251 patients who could not be weaned, 107 were discharged. The remaining 144 (16.7 %) patients died, 33 % due to the primary underlying disease or a complication. 66 % of the deceased patients received palliative care. Patients with successful and unsuccessful weaning did not differ by age, by duration of mechanical ventilation or time until tracheostomy. Postoperative patients could be weaned more often than medical patients (p < 0.05). Discrimination between patients with successful and unsuccessful weaning was not possible by the point in time of the first spontaneous breathing trial in regard to the duration of ventilation but only by the duration of this trial after transfer to our unit (150 vs. 60 min; p < 10-6). The TISS-28 and the SAPS-II-Score did not differ between the two groups. Patients with successful weaning had less agitation according to the RASS-Score (0.47 vs. 0.15; p < 0.005).


It becomes apparent that in a specialized weaning center the majority of difficult to wean patients can be liberated in short time from mechanical ventilation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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