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DIAPHRAGMATIC PACING

Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a serious problem that is known to affect the young adults and victims of falls, gunshot wounds and clashes that later leads to death or disability. This critical loss of neurological role of the diaphragm beneath the level of the injury leads to some adverse effects of the respiratory system. About a half of the patients examined to have this condition develops a quadriplegia with 4% of them requiring mechanical ventilation (MV) support. The standard therapy for patients with high levels of SCI is the use of an old method of treatment through a tracheostomy (Alshekhlee et al., 2008). This method has been found to have some of adverse effects such as higher chances of lung infection and even death. This is according to the recent researches in United States where the life expectancy of 20 years old patient examined to have SCI and has been depending on mechanical ventilation was found to decrease from 59 to 17 years. Therefore, the use of MV support has significantly been replaced by diaphragmatic pacemaker implantation to help these patients have a normal breathing hence improving their quality of life (Salim Surani, 2011).

The diaphragm is a key breathing muscle that helps in carrying out normal inhalation. It is provided with air by the phrenic nerve that normally encompasses the motor, sensory, and nerve of sympathy fibers. Any damages to these organs can lead to respiratory impairment, decreased tidal volume, abnormal gas exchanges as well as minute ventilation which later can lead to the death of an individual (Son et al., 2013). The diaphragm pacemaker consists of an outer transmitter and antennae which consist of fixed receiver and electrodes. The antennae and the transmitter send radio-frequency waves in the form of energy which is then converted at the receiver into stimulating pulses. The pulses are then transferred to the phrenic nerve from the electrodes consequently cause the diaphragm to retrench. (Salim Surani, 2011)…

 

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