Respiratory problems and management in people with spinal cord injury

AuthorsBerlowitz, DJ.
Wadsworth, B.
Ross, J.
TypeJournal Article (Original Research)
JournalBreathe
Year of Publication2016
URLhttp://breathe.ersjournals.com/content/12/4/328
DOIhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1183/20734735.012616
Download 2016_Dec_Breathe_Respiratory_Problems_Berlowitz.pdf (325.4 KB)
AbstractSpinal cord injury (SCI) is characterised by profound respiratory compromise secondary to the level of loss of motor, sensory and autonomic control associated with the injury. This review aims to detail these anatomical and physiological changes after SCI, and outline their impact on respiratory function. Injury-related impairments in strength substantially alter pulmonary mechanics, which in turn affect respiratory management and care. Options for treatments must therefore be considered in light of these limitations.Key pointsRespiratory impairment following spinal cord injury (SCI) is more severe in high cervical injuries, and is characterised by low lung volumes and a weak cough secondary to respiratory muscle weakness.Autonomic dysfunction and early-onset sleep disordered breathing compound this respiratory compromise.The mainstays of management following acute high cervical SCI are tracheostomy and ventilation, with noninvasive ventilation and assisted coughing techniques being important in lower cervical and thoracic level injuries.Prompt investigation to ascertain the extent of the SCI and associated injuries, and appropriate subsequent management are important to improve outcomes.Educational aimsTo describe the anatomical and physiological changes after SCI and their impact on respiratory function.To describe the changes in respiratory mechanics seen in cervical SCI and how these changes affect treatments.To discuss the relationship between injury level and respiratory compromise following SCI, and describe those at increased risk of respiratory complications.To present the current treatment options available and their supporting evidence.Spinal cord injury impairs respiratory function. The associated impairments can be well managed.

http://www.ibas.org.au/what-we-do/publications/3872884


< More publications



SHiQ - COSAQSHIQ - COSAQ

Each year in Australia 260 people sustain a SCI, with over half losing full function in their arms and legs (quadriplegia). In addition to the primary disability, there is a very high rate of Obstructive...

Notch monitoring in sleepNOTCH MONITORING IN SLEEP

Sleep apnea is a condition where breathing is abnormal during sleep. There are two main forms of sleep apnea: obstructive and central. For obstructive sleep apnea, breathing is reduced because the airway...

IBAS Director Anna Burke unveiling of her portrait at Canberra's Parliament HouseIBAS DIRECTOR ANNA BURKE UNVEILING OF HER PORTRAIT AT CANBERRA'S PARLIAMENT HOUSE

Anna Burke had barely got into the swing of her speech at the unveiling of her portrait at Canberra's Parliament House when the ringing of bells caused half her audience to hurry away

Thunderstorm asthma expected to return in 2017THUNDERSTORM ASTHMA EXPECTED TO RETURN IN 2017

The Morning Show - Thunderstorm asthma expected to return in 2017. The Daily Edition - Thunderstorm Asthma is an unexpected killer. Better Health Channel - Thunderstorm asthma explained. Professor Christine McDonald

National study offers hope for breathlessnessNATIONAL STUDY OFFERS HOPE FOR BREATHLESSNESS

A national medication study is aiming to help thousands of Australians who struggle every day with shortness of breath

Helping Victorians breathe and sleep easy - A New Centre of Excellence in Respiratory and Sleep MedicineHELPING VICTORIANS BREATHE AND SLEEP EASY - A NEW CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE IN RESPIRATORY AND SLEEP MEDICINE

With your support we will build a life-changing Centre of Excellence in Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, improving quality of life and health outcomes for Victorians who struggle to breathe and sleep

Institute for Breathing and Sleep

Level 5, Harold Stokes Building, Austin Hospital
145 Studley Road
Heidelberg, Victoria, 3084

(03) 9496 5390

Email Us

Donate