Ward 5 West at Austin Hospital is a respiratory and cardiology unit that includes respiratory high dependency beds and ventilation weaning unit beds.
The staff have advanced respiratory skills and knowledge and are experienced in the use of specialised respiratory equipment used on this Ward.
Patients with severe asthma often require humidified oxygen to relieve symptoms.
All asthma patients must have an asthma management plan and are given information on puffers and spacers, drug therapy and trigger factors.
The Ventilation Weaning Unit (VWU) is an Austin Health initiative that commenced in April 2002 and is the first unit of its type in Australia.
The main aim of the VWU is to care for patients who require short term breathing assistance with a mechanical ventilator outside an intensive care unit setting. Patients that are admitted to the VWU are medically stable but still requiring specialised respiratory care within a ward-like environment while progressively being weaned from mechanical ventilation.
Patients are referred to the VWU from intensive care units from any public or private hospital in Victoria. The unit comprises four specialised respiratory care beds.
Weaning is the gradual reduction and withdrawal of mechanical ventilatory support.