The Feasibility of Using Mouthpiece Ventilation Post Extubation for Acute Tetraplegia in the Intensive Care Unit

About the Project

Aim: To explore the feasibility of mouthpiece ventilation (MPV) use in the intensive care environment for patients who are extubated after suffering a cervical spinal cord injury and the barriers and enablers from a practice perspective.

Significance: Respiratory failure and the need for re-intubation for those suffering acute tetraplegia is a known risk which extends ICU stay and costs, delays rehabilitation and increases stress for patients and their families.This is the first time that early application of MPV combined with standard conventional treatment in patients with cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) has been evaluated. This team will lead the way by taking the first steps towards determining if MPV can be utilised to deliver post extubation breathing support. The findings from this study will form the foundations to determining if MPV can impact on outcomes such at extubation success, need for reintubation and ICU length of stay (LOS).

Outcomes: This study will provide much needed pilot data about a MPV intervention for catastrophic injury populations. More importantly, this study will inform of relevant factors that will likely lead to effective translation of this intervention into routine clinical practice, including the resources and education. Data from this pilot study will inform a larger study to determine the effectiveness of MPV and the health and economic benefits forindividuals and the health care system. The internal and external connections established with the clinical advisory group during this study will support collaboration for a larger future trial.


Dr Peter Kruger, Associate Professor UQ, Deputy Dir of ICU PAH.

Prof Tim Geraghty-  MBBS FAFRM (RACP) Rehabilitation Medicine Physician | Queensland Spinal Cord Injuries Service Medical Chair | Division of Rehabilitation  The Hopkins Centre: Research for Rehabilitation and Resilience

Dr Chris Joyce Associate Professor UQ, Director of ICU PAH Dr Craig Hukins, Assoc Prof Director of Respiratory and Sleep services PAH

Dr Jenny Paratz, Assoc Prof Physiotherapist ICU, RBWH

Prof Michele Foster, Professor, The Hopkins Centre: Research for Rehabilitation and Resilience, Menzies Health Institute QLD, Griffith University, Division of Rehabilitation, Metro South.

Brooke Duggan, Advanced Speech PAth PAH Duncan Brown, Registered Nurse ICU, PAH Dr Adam Semciw School of Physio UQ


HREC/16/QPAH/688 - SSA/16/QPAH/689


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