Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Diaphragmatic Pacemaker

We stayed the first night in the ICU and the next day Mary Jo trained Max and I about the pacemaker.  I am putting a picture and telling a little bit about the pacemaker so you can get the idea of how it works.

A diaphragmatic pacemaker, in medicine, is a surgically-implanted device used to help patients breathe following complications from spinal cord injuries. The device works through pacing of the diaphragm.
In patients with a diaphragmatic pacemaker, their breathing is helped by setting the respiratory rate by electrical stimulation (pacing) of the phrenic nerve. The pacing is accomplished via electrodes surgically implanted into the diaphragm, which is controlled by the phrenic nerve.
Diaphragm pacing stimulates a normal breath response as follows: when an electrical current is passed through the electrodes, the diaphragm contracts, expanding the chest cavity, causing air to be sucked into the lungs (inspiration). When the nerve is not stimulated, the diaphragm relaxes and air moves out of the lungs (expiration

That little box in the middle cost $30,000.00, and you have to have two of them!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Cheri,
    It's interesting that although I had heard of diaphragmatic pacemaker I had no idea what it was - I guess the positive side to all your experiences is that you can understand others going through similar situations and therefore be an emotional help and support to them.