Quadriplegia

Quadriplegia, also known as tetrapalegia, is the loss of voluntary movement and sensation in all four extremities, and usually results from a cervical spinal cord injury (SCI). Other conditions, such as a brain stem lesion or spinal meningitis, may also result in quadriplegia. After the patient is neurologically and orthopedically stable and cannot be weaned from mechanical ventilation, a diaphragm pacing system should be considered.

Understanding Mechanical Ventilation for Quadriplegia

One of the major issues facing persons with quadriplegia is the need for breathing assistance. While an injury at the C5 vertebrae or lower typically does not affect breathing, injuries above the C4 do often require ventilatory assistance. Individuals with injuries at the C1 and C2 level are dependent on assistance for breathing. Typically,... Read More

Willie

In November 1993, Willie was paralyzed after diving into the pool at his high school. Thanks to his quick thinking friends, he was airlifted to Johannesburg General Hospital in South Africa. In July 1994, Willie was implanted with the Avery diaphragm pacemaker. Willie first heard of the pacer when his General Practitioner had told... Read More

Dalen

In 2002, at the age of 52, Dalen fell from a ladder and was rendered a C2 quadriplegic and ventilator dependent. In 2014, Dalen was implanted with the Avery diaphragm pacemaker to replace his mechanical ventilator.  He is now pacing 24/7, and is enjoying his freedom from the ventilator. Since being implanted, his health... Read More

Brodie

In 1980, at the age of 19, a trampoline accident at college rendered Brodie a C2-C3 quadriplegic. Approximately, four months later, he was implanted with the Avery Diaphragm Pacing System system (Avery pacers); and in 1983, Brodie had his tracheostomy closed. He then returned to college completing his master’s degree in Education. According to... Read More

Caroline

Caroline was just ten months old in February 2003 when she became a C1-C2 quadriplegic as a result of an automobile accident. Like many quadriplegics, Caroline endured repeated hospitalizations for recurrent pneumonia. Caroline was implanted with her diaphragm pacing system in August 2007 by Dr. Robert Cilley at the Hershey Medical Center near her... Read More

Breathing with Quadriplegia

For most people, breathing is a natural action. We do not think about it, yet is vital to our existence. But for those living with quadriplegia, the muscles required for breathing are paralyzed, rendering them unable to breathe on their own without mechanical assistance. Quadriplegia (or tetraplegia) is the paralysis of all four limbs... Read More