Patients with complete C1-C3 require an external breathing device. as their diaphragm is either paralyzed or only partially innervated (C3). Most persons with C4 tetraplegia require assistance with ventilation during acute care but as the diaphragm strengthens, they are able to breath independently. The most common device for assisted breathing is the ventilator a pneumatic electric machine that forces room air into the lungs. Expiration is passive. This device a attached via plastic tubes directly to a hole in the trachea.
People with complete high tetraplegia are paralyzed from the neck down. These patients require a highly specialized team to stabilize them medically and to prevent further complications. such as respiratory infections and pressures. The occupational therapist who works with this population must be comfortable with nursing procedures. These tasks include suctioning(removing secretions from the trachea). manually ventilating the patient with a manual resuscitator(Ambu-bag) and proficiently manual a ventilator (Nead & Hughes. 1997). The rehabilitation team must also be well coordinated. providing the patient and family with care while have a myriad of issues to deal with in many domains of their life. It may be surprising to realize that despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles to success. many patient with such lesions live healthy and meaningful lives(Whieneck et al., 1989)