Episodic medical home interventions in severe bedridden Chronic Respiratory Failure patients: a 4 year retrospective study



  • L. Barbano Respiratory Unit and Weaning Center, Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri, IRCCS, Lumezzane (BS), Italy.
  • E. Bertella Respiratory Unit and Weaning Center, Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri, IRCCS, Lumezzane (BS), Italy.
  • M. Vitacca | michele.vitacca@fsm.it Respiratory Unit and Weaning Center, Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri, IRCCS, Lumezzane (BS), Italy.


Background and Aim. Home care for respiratory patients includes a complex array of services delivered in an uncontrolled setting. The role of a respiratory specialist inside the home healthcare team has been scarcely studied up to now. Our aims were to analyse the number and quality of episodic home visits performed by respiratory physicians to severe bedridden Chronic Respiratory Failure (CRF) patients, and also to evaluate the safety of tracheotomy tube substitutions at home. Methods. 231 home interventions (59.8/year) in 123 CRF patients (59 males; age 63±17y, 24 on oxygen therapy, 35 under non invasive mechanical ventilation, 46 under invasive ventilation, 74 with tracheostomy) located 35±16 km far from referred hospital, were revised in a period of 4 years (2005-2008). Results. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) (31%) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) (28%) were the more frequent diagnoses. Interventions were: tracheotomy tube substitution (64%) presenting 22% of minor adverse events and 1.4% of major adverse events; change or new oxygen prescription (37%); nocturnal pulsed saturimetric trend prescription (24%); change in mechanical ventilation (MV) setting (4%); new MV adaptation (7%). After medical intervention, new home medical equipment devices (oxygen and MV) were prescribed in 36% of the cases while rehabilitative hospital admission and home respiratory physiotherapy prescription was proposed in 9% and 6% of the cases respectively. Patient/caregiver’s satisfaction was reported on average 8.48±0.79 (1 = the worst; 10 = the higher). The local health care system (HCS) reimbursed 70€ for each home intervention. Families saved 42±20€ per visit for ambulance transportation. Conclusions. Home visits performed by a respiratory physician to bedridden patients with chronic respiratory failure: 1. include predominantly patients affected by COPD and ALS; 2. determine a very good satisfaction to patients/caregivers; 3. allow money saving to caregivers; 4. are predominantly made up to change tracheotomy tube without severe adverse events.



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Original Articles
Home care, Respiratory Failure, Home visits
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How to Cite
Barbano, L., E. Bertella, and M. Vitacca. 2016. “Episodic Medical Home Interventions in Severe Bedridden Chronic Respiratory Failure Patients: A 4 Year Retrospective Study”. Monaldi Archives for Chest Disease 71 (3). https://doi.org/10.4081/monaldi.2009.356.