Assisted Ventilation Clinic

A ventilator is a machine that assists with breathing. For people who require ventilatory support, whether part- or full-time, portable ventilators can be life-sustaining and allow patients to receive long-term care in their homes. At the Assisted Ventilation Clinic, jointly staffed by Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the University of Michigan, we provide comprehensive, coordinated care for people utilizing portable ventilators. From patient assessments to ventilator maintenance, our team approach ensures all patients’ issues are addressed, often in a single visit.

Ventilator Support for a Variety of Conditions

Ventilatory support may be required for a wide range of disabilities and conditions, including:

  • Spinal cord injury
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Severe cerebral palsy
  • ALS/ Lou Gehrig’s disease

We also care for patients who may require ventilatory support in the future.

There are two types of ventilatory support: invasive and noninvasive. Invasive support means the ventilator is connected to a tube placed from an opening in the neck into the trachea (created by tracheostomy). Noninvasive support means the ventilator is connected to a mask that covers the nose, nose and mouth, or entire face. The decision for invasive or noninvasive ventilatory support is based on a number of factors, including how well patients tolerate the mask, their commitment to using the mask, and their ability to clear secretions from their lungs.

Comprehensive Ventilator Services in One Location

Because the majority of our patients have multiple severe disabilities, we provide a one-stop shopping format, so when they come to the clinic, they’ll see as many care providers as possible in a single visit, including:

  • A nurse practitioner, who handles care coordination
  • Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine physicians for management of lung problems
  • Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation physicians for all general care regarding disabilities
  • Respiratory therapists to handle any issues with the ventilator equipment
  • A dietitian for nutrition support services
  • Social workers

The Assisted Ventilation Clinic meets on Wednesday afternoons in the Taubman Center at the Medical Center Main Campus. We have two procedure rooms fully equipped with lift systems and hydraulic tables for safe patient transfers, as well as the necessary facilities for tracheostomy changes (switching out the tube each month if unable to do at home), assessment of the trachea, and wound care.

We stock a variety of devices in the clinic for noninvasive ventilator interfaces (masks, nasal pillows), BiPAP (a type of noninvasive breathing machine), Cough-Assist devices, and ventilator setting adjustments.

In addition, our nurse practitioner can provide home visits for selected patients. Services at a home visit may include patient assessment, education, and medication recording and reconciliation.

Make an Appointment

To learn more about our Assisted Ventilation Clinic or to make an appointment, call us at 888-287-1084.

Fax number: 734-936-3494