Suffering from a spinal cord injury is a traumatic experience. The area of the spinal cord that’s damaged affects what problems you’re going to deal with from it. People who have injuries to the cervical spine might have a very scary effect of the spinal cord injury – trouble breathing.
Typically, only patients who have a C4 or above injury will need assistance with breathing. This is sometimes only a temporary need for individuals with a C3 or C4 injury. For those who have a C1 or C2 injury, the need for assistance might be permanent.
What type of assistance is available?
There are two primary forms of assistance for individuals who need help breathing. One of these is the ventilator, which is known as the positive airway pressure ventilator. The other is a diaphragm pacing system.
The doctor who’s caring for each patient will determine what system is appropriate. There are many considerations that doctors have to think about when they’re determining which of these is best for a patient. Some will err on the side of the diaphragm pacing system since it allows for more mobility and has several benefits that aren’t present with the ventilator. Others will choose the ventilator.
One thing that anyone who’s facing the need for breathing assistance must consider is the financial impact. This is usually a costly care component, but it’s a life-saving measure. Individuals who suffer from breathing issues due to a spinal cord injury might choose to seek compensation from the negligent party that caused their injury. This could help to offset the care costs.