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Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals

A breath of fresh air with Vapotherm

April 24, 2017

Vapotherm allows Twayne Cutsinger to breathe easier after sustaining a C5-C6 spinal cord injury in a car crash. Vapotherm replicates the next best option to a patient's natural respiratory system.

the Technology

Innovation is one of Madonna’s core values. In respiratory care, clinicians strive for the best patient outcomes by introducing new treatment strategies and technologies.

In January 2016, Madonna implemented Vapotherm Hi-VNI™ Technology to provide humidification to tracheostomy patients. Typically, these patients are unable to provide warmth, moisture and filtration on their own, resulting in thick and retained secretions in the lower airway.

Although the national standard for humidification of tracheostomy patients is cool mist, Madonna has always incorporated warm mist humidification in this type of complex care. Staying progressive leads to the highest level of independence for patients and helps Madonna remain a leader in respiratory care.

Vapotherm’s heated humidification helps patients breathe easier and accelerates the ventilator and tracheostomy weaning process. Vapotherm replicates the next best option to the patient’s natural respiratory system.

“When the Vapotherm heated humidification technology presented itself to us, there was no question that this is something we needed to implement to be able to provide the highest standard of care for these patients,” said Respiratory Director Jim Pelton.

Madonna has more than 80 respiratory therapists trained in the specialized care of adults and children with pulmonary conditions. The unique needs of the pulmonary patient are best addressed with a transdisciplinary team approach. Each member contributes a unique skill-set and expertise. This collaboration is essential with a challenging tracheostomy or ventilator patient.

Adopting Vapotherm has positively enhanced the patient care experience at Madonna. The technology delivers precise humidity, temperature and oxygen percentages for tracheotomy patients. Vapotherm also helps clinicians meet the respiratory needs of patients, allowing them to participate more fully in therapies. The patient, not the equipment, becomes the focus of the clinician.

Since implementing Vapotherm, Madonna has seen a 17 percent increase in decannulation (removal of the tracheostomy tube) rate. Patients who are breathing independently have greater discharge options, e.g., to their home. Additionally, the adoption of Vapotherm has improved ventilator weaning rates by 14 percent.

In February 2017, Vapotherm designated Madonna as a Center of Excellence. Madonna is honored to be a role model facility and remains dedicated to helping patients achieve the highest quality of life.

Celebrating excellence with Vapotherm

Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals received the Vapotherm Center of Excellence (COE) designation during celebrations at both the Lincoln and Omaha campuses on Feb. 7. The COE program recognizes health care facilities that best use Vapotherm’s technology in ventilator and tracheostomy weaning protocols.

COE is the highest recognition a facility can receive from Vapotherm, and signifies that the facility uses Vapotherm technology as a standard of care in their facility.

Vapotherm COE partners are committed to excellence in their own facilities and to sharing their knowledge, best practices and experience to improve the standard of care for all patients.

Madonna and Vapotherm representatives sharing in the Omaha Campus celebration include: (L to R) Mat Bohach, Vapotherm clinical product specialist; Jim Pelton, Madonna director of respiratory therapy; Dawn Yanks, Madonna Rehabilitation Specialty Hospital-Omaha respiratory clinical supervisor; Nicole D’Amboise, Vapotherm market manager; Melissa Gulizia, Madonna pulmonary program manager; and Woody Hines, Vapotherm national director.

To read more about Madonna’s partnership with Vapotherm, visit