Regions Hospital Program Helps Patients Breathe on Their Own Sooner After Heart Surgery

A program at Regions Hospital in Minnesota to remove patients from a ventilator within six hours after heart surgery allows patients to leave the intensive care unit one day sooner and lowers medical costs by an average of $2,000 per patient. Since Regions implemented the early extubation program, the number of cardiac surgery patients who were able to breathe on their own sooner after surgery has increased to 87 percent, nearly double the national rate.