Pulmonary complications are the major causes of morbidity and mortality for persons with cervical spinal cord injury. Diminished ability to cough constitutes a major contribution to the high incidence of pulmonary morbidity in this population. This article reports preliminary results for a new technique for providing assisted cough in this population. In this study, efficacy of cough (as measured by peak expiratory flow rate) was measured under three conditions: volitionally with no assistance, with manual assist of a therapist, and with electrical stimulation of abdominal muscles. Coughs produced by electrical stimulation were approximately as effective as manually assisted coughs. The results suggest this technique is worthy of more detailed study and may be a potentially effective new modality for assisting spinal cord injured persons to clear their airways.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation