The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2010 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Adrienne Cunningham; Quality & Outcomes, Shepherd Center Hospital, Atlanta, GA

Objective: To review the success of the diaphragmatic pacer placement in ventilator- dependent tetraplegic patients. Design: Cross-sectional cohort study Methods: This study is based on a subset of tetraplegic patients that were successfully implanted with the diaphragmatic pacer (DP). Participants (n=8) reported on DP utilization times while surpassing the use of the mechanical ventilator. Pacing times were recorded. Results: A total of 28 patients were tested for possible implantation. Eleven patients failed and were not implanted. Of the 16 that had successful DP placement, 11 were successfully contacted and interviewed. Age of patients ranged from 16 years to 66 years. All patients could sustain the need for mechanical ventilation for up to 12 hours per day. One participant has been able to surpass mechanical ventilation without the diaphragmatic pacer. Seven of 8 participants return to mechanical ventilation at night due to anxiety and light respiratory distress. All participants reported having good family support and continued satisfaction for having the DP. Conclusion: The findings suggest that the DP is a modality that has high patient satisfaction. Further research may serve as a potential replacement for prolonged mechanical ventilation. Sponsored Research - None