Nov 13, 2012 · Leave a Reply

Diaphragmatic Pacing Device Helps Spinal Cord Injury Patients Breathe Easier

By AJ Montpetit @ajmontpetit

Diaphragmatic Pacer

For patients with high cervical spinal cord injuries (SCI) who have difficulty breathing on their own, there are new options to improve quality of life through the implantation of a Diaphragmatic Pacing device. Mayo Clinic is one of a handful of providers in the U.S. offering this new pacing device to patients with high cervical SCI who currently require ventilator support.

Using a laparoscopic approach for a minimally invasive procedure, surgeons (using direct visualization) place electrodes on the diaphragm in a location that elicits the optimal contraction. These electrodes are then connected, through wires running through the skin, to an external device about the size of a TV remote control, and electrical stimulation induces diaphragm contraction and inhalation of air to fill the lungs.

“The goal of implanting this device is to reduce the amount of time patients require mechanical ventilation,” explains Ronald Reeves, M.D., a physiatrist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

Learn more about implantable diaphragmatic pacing devices at Mayo Clinic.

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