The Pulmonary Program at Select Specialty Hospital

The Pulmonary Program at Select Specialty Hospital

Courtesy Select Specialty Hospital, Collin County LIVING WELL Magazine

The Pulmonary Program at Select Specialty Hospital is designed to wean medically complex patients who require continued mechanical ventilation. As a specialized acute care hospital, Select Specialty has been very successful in weaning patients who have previously failed to wean in a short-term acute care setting. In addition to pulmonary distress, these patients typically suffer from co-exiting conditions such as infections, muscle atrophy, and nutritional deficiencies––which result from longer stays at ICUs. At Select Specialty Hospital, we are well prepared to handle patients who require extended acute care in a resource-intensive setting.

Our Pulmonary Program is designed to:

  • Provide a highly coordinated ventilator weaning program to promote successful


  • Provide individualized treatment strategies for each patient with daily physician

visits, specialty consults, physician-directed weaning protocols, and

diagnostic studies.

  • Resolve the pulmonary condition while managing other medical conditions.
  • Administer medications and monitor effects.
  • Complete patient and family training by time of discharge to ensure continuity of care.

Who will benefit:

Individuals who need a longer acute care hospitalization in order to wean from mechanical ventilation due to:

  • Acute respiratory failure or respiratory insufficiency
  • Trauma with chest injury
  • Tracheotomy
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) with exacerbation
  • Mechanical ventilation secondary to infectious process or post surgical


  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchiectasis or bronchopulmonary fistula
  • ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome)
  • Pleural effusion
  • Neuromuscular disease leading to respiratory failure (Guillain-Barre, ALS,

Myasthenia Gravis, phrenic nerve injury, spinal cord injury)


At Select Specialty Hospital, we utilize a multidisciplinary approach and specialized resources to enable many patients to breathe on their own and enjoy a higher quality of life.

A Hunter’s Heart

Courtesy of Select Specialty Hospital, Collin County LIVING WELL Magazine

It was a mild heart attack requiring surgery, but after the procedure, Wally Harris had other complications, which led to his being placed on a ventilator to keep him breathing.

“He never got off the ventilator used in surgery,” explains Wally’s wife, Charlene, who is an RN. “The previous hospital planned to send Wally to a nursing home when they couldn’t wean him from the ventilator.” Instead, Wally and his wife chose to continue his acute care treatment at a Select Specialty Hospital.

Charlene was frightened for Wally when they first arrived. “I was upset because the patients were critically ill and even as a nurse, I thought no one leaves here. After a few days, I realized my first impression was definitely wrong.”

Wally remembers his challenges at Select. “I was so frustrated when I couldn’t eat or drink because of the ventilator.”

Fortunately, Wally’s respiratory muscles were strong, and with help of the physicians, respiratory therapists and clinical staff, he was able to progress to spending short amounts of time off the ventilator. These short periods progressed to hours and then days; eventually, as his body grew stronger, he was weaned completely from the machine.

Throughout the recovery process––which included physical, occupational and speech therapies––Wally’s passion for hunting drove his desire to recover. Later that year, he was back in the woods. “Imagine how excited I was to actually go crossbow hunting that fall. And, I caught a 4-point deer!” he says with a big grin.

Charlene sums up her feelings: “Select Specialty Hospital really gives patients a chance. I never thought we would have him back the way he is now. I’ve learned there is always hope.”

For more information about Select Specialty Hospital and our services, please visit our website at