What started with a skin infection soon left Francis Hendricks on a ventilator. Francis, 69, arrived at the ER with complaints of swelling in his right arm. Doctors diagnosed Francis with cellulitis and admitted him to the hospital. But Francis only got worse instead of better.
Francis had underlying chronic medical conditions that complicated his hospitalization. His cellulitis began a series of events that led to his medical decline. Soon, Francis was placed on a mechanical ventilator and intubated. He developed acute respiratory failure due to pneumonia, encephalopathy, and atrial fibrillation. Francis also developed acute kidney failure, requiring hemodialysis. A tracheostomy was performed, and a PEG tube was placed to get Francis proper nutrition.
As a medically-complex patient unable to wean from a ventilator, Francis was a candidate for a long-term acute care hospital (LTACH). Francis needed a specialized approach to liberate from the ventilator, along with the management of his medical conditions. For this specialized care, he transferred to Vibra Hospital of Richmond.
At Vibra, Francis received aggressive ventilator management and respiratory therapy. He continued hemodialysis and monitoring for renal recovery. Physical, occupational, and speech therapy worked with him on rehabilitation. Specialized nursing care, nutritional support, and continuous cardiac monitoring supported Francis throughout.
When Francis arrived at Vibra, he was confused and disoriented. He also experienced day/night inversion. This level of confusion can occur from prolonged hospitalizations, especially in medically-complex patients. But after a few days at Vibra, his mentation improved. Francis became alert and oriented again. Francis was also anemic during his stay, requiring two blood transmissions. Medication management addressed his atrial fibrillation. A high-tech telemetry system monitored his heart rhythm.
Progress came quickly for Francis. In just five days, he began breathing on his own. After two weeks his tracheostomy tube was removed. Working with speech therapy, Francis strengthened his swallow reflex, graduating to an oral diet. Physical and occupational therapy had Francis walking up to 20 feet with assistance.
Ready for the next level of care, Francis discharged to an inpatient rehabilitation facility. There, he would receive continued aggressive therapy working toward his ultimate goal -- a return home.Posted By