How would you like to talk with Jane?

October 15, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Dear Alan,

This is really good news about Jane’s movements of her fingers, toes, shoulder, and especially the program of weaning her from the ventilator.

Most facilities have a “Passy Muir Valve” that allows the patient on a ventilator to speak when they become strong enough. The Passy Muir valve is commonly used to help patients speak normally. This one-way valve attaches to the outside opening of the tracheotomy tube and allows air to pass into the tracheotomy, but not out through it. The valve opens when the patient breathes in. When the patient breathes out, the valve closes and air flows around the tracheostomy tube, up through the vocal cords allowing sounds to be made. The patient breathes out through the mouth and nose instead of the tracheotomy.

Some patients may immediately adjust to breathing with the valve in place. Others may need to gradually increase the time the valve is worn. Breathing out with the valve (around the tracheotomy tube) is harder work than breathing out through the tracheostomy tube. Patients may need to build up the strength and ability to use the valve.

Ask your Doctors/Nurses about the Passy Muir valve – You may be able to speak with your wife.

Warmest regards.