Pulmonary and Respiratory Care

More than 30 years ago, Kindred Healthcare pioneered the first hospitals in the nation to specialize in the treatment of pulmonary patients. In the years since, our expertise in pulmonary disease management and respiratory care has only grown. We treat complex respiratory disorders with tailored care plans based on you or your loved one’s specific conditions paired with the latest, most effective techniques and ventilator weaning protocols, many of which were developed by our clinicians.

Some illnesses make breathing more difficult, and you may require assistance through mechanical ventilation and respiratory care. For many, each breath is an effort, often causing anxiety, which results in further shortness of breath, increased heart rate, muscle fatigue and even feelings of panic. This can negatively impact every aspect of your life.

At Kindred Hospitals, we take a holistic approach to address everything you or your loved one are experiencing. Our interdisciplinary teams – including pulmonologists, nurses, therapists, wound care specialists, nutritionists, social workers, case managers and other staff members – work together to help you recover and, if on a ventilator, eventually breathe without an assistive device. Our individualized care plan includes in-depth pulmonary and respiratory evaluation, comprehensive treatment and 24/7 monitoring

Pulmonary Care Patients

Kindred Hospitals are a nationwide network of transitional care, or long-term acute care (LTAC), hospitals that provide pulmonary and respiratory care to medically complex patients.

The common clinical conditions we treat include:

Our pulmonary care is focused on two types of patients: those who require prolonged mechanical ventilation, and those who need non-ventilator pulmonary care.

What is prolonged mechanical ventilation?

When people cannot breathe on their own, it becomes necessary to be placed on mechanical ventilation. There are a variety of conditions that can lead to this step, from serious injuries to muscle disorders. The amount of time a patient is required to be on a ventilator varies from patient to patient. However, it is our goal to look at each patient individually and assist them on their own road to recovery. As experts in ventilator weaning and management, our main goal is to help our patients recover as fully as possible and wean them from a ventilator in the safest possible manner.

What pulmonary care services does Kindred provide?

Kindred Hospitals specialize in pulmonary and respiratory care and offer a wider range of services, such as early mobilization and rehabilitation (including physical, speech and occupational therapy); pulmonary hygiene and suctioning; nutrition and medication; and family education and participation.

We provide comprehensive treatments and pulmonary care services overseen by pulmonologists who make daily rounds to review the effectiveness of the therapies, which may include but are not limited to:

  • Chest percussion therapy
  • Inspiratory muscle therapy
  • Passy-Muir (speaking valve) placement
  • Non-invasive ventilator management
  • Airway management

Additional treatments may include:

  • Tracheostomy care
  • Oxygen delivery
  • Aerosolized medications
  • Airway care C-PAP
  • Bi-PAP ventilatory support
  • Patient and family education for medication management and chronic lung disease conditions

What does recovery look like?

Kindred Hospitals' interdisciplinary team approach to respiratory care has led to many successful outcomes. A key element of your success is family involvement and support. If your loved one has a condition that requires pulmonary care, please read our blog post on how to best support them.


Success Spotlight: Theodore's Story

Theodore drove a truck and loved to listen to all types of Latin music before he became very ill and had to be hospitalized when he suffered a fall. At the hospital he was diagnosed with COVID-19 and, as his lungs failed, he had to be placed on a ventilator and given a feeding tube as well as antibiotic IV therapy. Over what would become a long course of treatment, his physicians worked hard to stabilize his condition and overcome challenges that included a collapsed lung, gastric bleeding and acute kidney injury. He remained in critical condition for four months until he was finally able to be transferred to Kindred, where he could receive advanced respiratory therapy and begin his rehabilitation.

Suffering from profound weakness after his long convalescence, Theodore needed maximum assistance from his team of caregivers for all his needs and was started on aggressive respiratory and physical therapy. With skillful care and aided by a positive and motivated attitude, Theodore started to make progress immediately and quickly reached a succession of goals in all areas of his recovery while at Kindred. ‘Teddy Bear,' as he became known to his caregivers, was successfully weaned off high-flow oxygen, was able to have the chest tubes removed, and made small but significant gains toward recovering more mobility and strength. Theodore was able to be discharged from Kindred in just over two weeks to continue with his rehabilitation and was ready for the next challenge – to overcome the weakness brought on by months of bedrest and regain his independence.

“I am grateful and happy for the care I received here,” Theodore expressed before he left Kindred. “Everyone looked after me – it was all hands on deck.”