Attaining the Unattainable

On December 22, 2015, WP was admitted to BridgePoint Hospital Capitol Hill’s Long Term Acute Care facility from Inova Alexandria Hospital. She suffered from acute respiratory failure secondary to myocardial infarction which subsequently led to cardiac arrest and ischemic encephalopathy. She was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of BridgePoint Hospital on mechanical ventilation when her prognosis was poor. Upon admission, she had a tracheostomy , PEG tube and was on NPO status. She was in need of ventilator weaning, trach care, acute cardiovascular care, oxygen therapy, antibiotic therapy, hemodialysis, nutritional therapy, and rehabilitation.

The Journey

WP was cared for by our Interdisciplinary Team that consisted of a Critical Care Physician, a Pulmonologist, a Cardiologist, and Respiratory Therapists. They structured a care program tailored to her needs with continuous monitoring of vitals. She tolerated an intensive weaning protocol for 10 days and was eventually weaned from the ventilator and decannulated. She received aggressive treatment from Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapists who focused on her overall rehabilitation. Her care program focused on dysphagia management, as she expressed a desire to eat again. Despite her comorbidities, she demonstrated compliance with mobility exercises. WP quickly began to transfer in and out of bed with assistance, complete grooming including washing her face, brushing her teeth, etc. and lifting 2-pound weights.

Achieved Functional Independence

WP was able to achieve modified independence with the help of the intense rehabilitation program that was focused on her needs. Upon discharge, she was able to ambulate 50 ft. with a rolling walker with moderate assistance and was transferred to a regular texture, thin liquid diet. WP was transitioned to an acute rehab facility to continue on her journey of functional independence!


Admitting Diagnosis: Respiratory failure with cardiovascular complications and ischemic encephalopathy
Admission Date: 12.22.2015
Discharge Date: 1.21.2016
Discharge Location: Acute Rehabilitation Facility

Wean Start Date: 12.22.15
Liberation Date: 1.2.16
Decannulation: 1.4.16
WP was decannulated within 12 days of her wean start date. Considering the extent of cardiovascular and cerebral complications, the efforts of the interdisciplinary team were successful in getting her off the ventilator within 10 days.