May 14th, 2015 at ASIA ISCOS conference: Practical Solutions for Respiratory Care in SCI


Respiratory complications are the most common cause of mortality in patients with Spinal cord injury (SCI) living in the community, and a major cause of morbidity among patients in acute and rehabilitation care. A recent review of rehabilitation centres in Canada, the Rehabilitation Environmental Scan Atlas, revealed that respiratory care is a major gap in the care of patients with SCI. The Canadian Thoracic Society’s Home Mechanical Ventilation Guideline is an evidence-based, expert-developed standard for the assessment and treatment of those requiring invasive and non-invasive ventilation. These guidelines also review the use and importance of airway clearance techniques.

Evidence in SCI and other neuromuscular diseases shows that these techniques improve peak cough flow, improve secretion clearance
and reduce hospitalization in the community. The goal of the session is for any clinician who works with patients with SCI through the continuum of care to improve their knowledge and skills with respect to respiratory assessment, treatment and education, so to positively impact respiratory outcomes among both inpatient
and outpatient SCI populations. The session will include a review of current practice in Canada as well as an overview of evidence-based guidelines including non-invasive
ventilation and diaphragmatic pacing systems. Spinal cord injury-specific respiratory assessment techniques and lung volume recruitment and airway clearance strategies will be demonstrated. A discussion of the application of these techniques will follow, with a question and answer session.