McLaren Bay Special Care has a four-bed ventilator weaning unit at McLaren Bay Region’s West Campus. It is one of a few facilities in the Great Lakes Bay Region that has a ventilator weaning program. Shahzad Manawar, MD, and Saad Ahmad, MD, are the Program Medical Directors who have program oversight. The program is customized for each individual patient with established protocols.

Ventilators are essential when patients can’t breathe on their own, and most patients are removed from the ventilator within hours or days. However, in some sensitive cases, the patient’s condition doesn’t permit rapid weaning from the ventilator.

“Patients are ventilated for longer periods of time while being treated for their primary medical condition,” says Ron Chartier, Manager, Respiratory Care and Sleep Center at McLaren Bay Region. But, Chartier explains, it’s not without risks, especially in long-term use. “The longer a patient is on a ventilator, the more at risk they are to develop an infection or other pulmonary infection.”

The ventilator weaning program has an interdisciplinary team including physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, and other specialized staff such as speech language pathologists and psychologists. “I am very pleased that McLaren Bay Special Care now has the ability to provide this much-needed service here in Bay County,” says Janet Sutton, DO, Medical Director, McLaren Bay Special Care. “Patients and families no longer need to travel long distances for their health care needs.”

The McLaren Bay Region difference brings teams together to provide quality care close to home.