Making breathing easier for patients with acute spinal cord injury

An exciting new study by The Hopkins Centre (THC) is looking into the feasibility of using mouthpiece ventilation (MPV) for patients’ once extubated after suffering an acute spinal cord injury (SCI). This intervention is important as approximately 1/3 of this patient population experience extubation failure. MPV has the potential to positively impact the extubation outcome. MPV is delivered by the Philips Trilogy device giving a breath on-demand via a mouthpiece. To date, no studies have been conducted to evaluate this.

Senior physiotherapist Brooke Wadsworth, Queensland Spinal Cord Injuries Service and Adjunct Research Fellow Griffith University, is leading a collaborative team of clinicians and researchers to deliver this research program. The study has examined the amount of time and clinical support required to introduce MPV into the Intensive Care environment. It has also looked at the enablers and barriers to optimising post extubation breathing support. Currently, MPV has been used in 16 episodes of extubation for people with newly acquired SCI. Valuable feedback has been received from patients on set-up specifics and ongoing use. After the first phase of the study, results have shown that MPV can be utilised in the intensive care environment and is well received by clinicians and patients.

Going forward, the project will see the research team review data and collate feedback from patient and staff participants. A review of current data will also be conducted in relation to neurological level, respiratory complications, pre-extubation measures, and intensive care length of stay. In preparation for the second phase of this study, the team will link with interstate hospitals working with acute SCI with the aim of a multisite study in 2019.

A special acknowledgement to Dr Jennifer Paratz, member of Menzies Health Institute Queensland, who was integral to the project commencement and collaboration with Griffith.

The collaborative team of clinicians and researchers working on this project is, Brooke Wadsworth (The Hopkins Centre, Metro South Health), Dr Jenny Paratz (Griffith University), Professor Michele Foster (The Hopkins Centre, Griffith Univerity), Professor Timothy Geraghty (The Hopkins Centre, Metro South Health), Dr Peter Kruger (Metro South Health), Dr Craig Hukins (Metro South Health), Dr Chris Joyce (Metro South Health), Gabrielle Ferguson (Metro South Health), Duncan Brown (Metro South Health), Brooke Duggan (Metro South Health) and external collaborators, Professor David Berlowitz, Jack Ross, Dr James Douglas and Professor Joshua Benditt.

Check back to keep track of this trailblazing study.

Read more about the study here

Delivers PC(pressure) or AC(volume) to support inspiratory effort via open passive circuit with straw or mouthpiece. Patient must be awake & able to engage with the kiss trigger. 


Tags: Feasibility, Mouthpiece Ventilation, MPV, Extubated, Acute Spinal Cord Injury, SCI

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