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Long-term Hospitalization of Ventilator-Dependent Patients Can We Afford It?

Arch Intern Med. 1985;145(11):2089. doi:10.1001/archinte.1985.00360110165033.
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This issue introduces a new feature that will periodically spotlight opinions on various topics from members of the editorial board. The following commentary by Dr George concerns alternatives to long-term hospitalization of ventilatordependent patients.

Dr George is professor of medicine and chief of pulmonary diseases at the Louisiana State University in Shreveport. His clinical interests include critical care, respiratory infections, and obstructive lung disease. He has edited and contributed chapters to several textbooks and has written many articles on pulmonary diseases, some of which have appeared in the Archives. He has been a member of the editorial board of the Archives since 1976.

Advances in the management of acute episodes of respiratory failure during the past two decades have resulted in the successful treatment of many patients with severe ventilatory impairment. Some of these patients continue to require mechanically assisted ventilation for long periods, and their prolonged care in the


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