Spinal Cord Injury
In the U.S. there are an estimated 125,000 patients who have permanent cervical spinal injuries. All high-level Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) patients have an impaired ability to clear secretions. Retained airway secretions plug bronchi, causing atelectasis, respiratory inflammation and recurrent infection. Fever and purulent sputum may mark progression to pneumonia.
Regular airway clearance therapy is frequently recognized as an effective component in the standard respiratory care regimen for SCI. Many physicians prescribe vest therapy for Spinal Cord Injury patients who cannot mobilize airway secretions without therapeutic intervention. Airway clearance therapy methods requiring active participation are generally unsuitable. In patients with ineffective cough, additional techniques or devices to clear secretions from central airways are also required.