Ventilation and Airway Management - Apollo Home Healthcare

Ventilation and Airway Management

The highest standards of complex clinical care in your home

We provide ventilation and airway management care services to adults, children and young people who require support with their breathing at home.

Medical advances and technology mean that those with severe breathing problems often caused by complex healthcare conditions can receive their treatment at home via mechanical ventilation.

In some cases, due to their clinical condition, a client may have a tracheostomy inserted and ventilation will be given through this route (called Invasive Ventilation (IV)). Ventilation can also be given through a face or nasal mask (called Non-Invasive Ventilation (NIV)).

Creating your bespoke package of care

We work closely with acute settings, ventilation teams, respiratory consultants and therapists including occupational, physio and speech therapists to help discharge you from a hospital setting and provide support to you in the comfort of your own home.

We work in line with the National Children’s Framework and National Long-Term Ventilation (LTV) Standards to build bespoke, safe packages of care.

All our care staff complete a specialised in-house training course taught in line with best practice guidelines. The course offers a blend of theory and practical learning using mannequins and is led by our Nursing teams with input from professionals to ensure that our care team are trained for you specific equipment and personal needs. Whether discharging you from hospital or taking over from another provider our care staff spend time shadowing and becoming fully competent in all aspects of your care.  

How we support you

The types of specialist care we can provide when you require respiratory support at home include:

  • Tracheostomy management, including stoma care, humidification, nebulisers, suction, changing tapes, speaking valve, changing a tracheostomy tube, mouth care and inner tubes.
  • Invasive Ventilation.
  • Non-Invasive Ventilation BIPAP & CPAP.
  • Cough assist.
  • Hand ventilation or bag, valve and mask/tracheostomy ventilation.
  • Chest physio.

What is a ventilator?

A medical ventilator is a machine designed to move air (sometimes with oxygen) into and out of the lungs, this provides the mechanism of breathing for someone who is unable to breathe on their own.

Ventilators can be used in the home safely and for an indefinite period.

Some ventilators can take over the function of breathing completely, and others can assist and support patients to breathe for themselves.

Our staff are fully trained in all aspects of ventilation management.

What is ventilation?

  • Breathing, or respiration, involves the inspiration (breathing in) of oxygen (O2) and the expiration (breathing out) of carbon dioxide (CO2).
  • With every inspiration, oxygen enters the lungs and then is absorbed into the blood so that it is delivered to all the cells of the body. At the same time, carbon dioxide, a waste product of cell function, is carried in the blood and delivered to the lungs where it can be removed from the body through expiration. Breathing balances and regulates the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the body.
  • Some of our clients are unable to breathe adequately because of various health conditions (for example, weakness of the respiratory muscles, spinal cord injury or neurological problems).
  • Ventilatory assistance (or ventilation, or assisted ventilation, or artificial ventilation) with a specific device helps the client breathe more effectively; a mechanical device pushes air with oxygen (O2) into the lungs, like inspiration, and facilitates the removal of carbon dioxide (CO2), like expiration. Ventilatory assistance can support a client’s activities and development.
  • A ventilatory assistance device may be used during sleep and/or when the client is awake, depending upon the needs of the client, to improve/support respiration and overall health quality.
  • Ventilatory assistance is divided into two categories depending on the type of interface between the client and the ventilatory assistance device:
    • invasive ventilation: the device is connected to a tracheal cannula.
    • non-invasive ventilation: the device is connected to a mask (nasal, facial or nasal pillows) with a integrated exhalation valve or to a mouthpiece.
  • Manual ventilation with a ventilatory bag (or manual ventilatory bag or manual ventilatory device or bag valve mask or self-inflating bag with a non-rebreathing valve or Ambu bag) may be necessary if our client is unable to breathe effectively independently. Here are some situations when manual ventilation may be required:
  • to replace a mechanical ventilatory assistance device while it is disconnected for transportation or to facilitate mobility (eg, transferring our client from chair to bed, re-positioning, daily care such as bathing, etc.);
  • to change the ventilatory circuit or ventilatory assistance device;
  • to mobilize and improve clearance of secretions and/or aspiration of secretions;
  • to ventilate in an emergency situation such as respiratory distress, obstruction or accidental decannulation of the tracheal cannula, breakage of ventilatory assistance device, unresolved ventilatory assistance device alarms, etc.;
  • to do cough assist techniques via a device, manually or modified ventilatory bag;
  • to ventilate during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Talk to us about your individual care needs