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 home in Pennsylvania. Her followup care is provided by Dr. Michael Dettorre, Director of Hershey’s Pediatric Home Ventilator Program.
Caroline paces 24 hours per day and only uses her ventilator periodically during allergy season and the occasional cold. Using her diaphragm pacing system, Caroline attends school and enjoys a wide range of outdoor activities including going to local fairs, festivals and even professional baseball games. According to her father, Caroline’s diaphragm pacing system has “been the single best thing we’ve been able to do for her since the accident.”
The Avery diaphragm pacing system is an implanted phrenic nerve stimulator or diaphragmatic pacemaker. It is the only device of its kind with full premarket approval from the US Food & Drug Administration and has qualified for the CE Mark under the European Active Implantable Medical Device Directive.
Due to their proven reliability and cost effectiveness, our devices are approved for Medicare reimbursement and by most private and government insurance plans worldwide. Breathing pacemakers do not require the routine maintenance and disposable supplies of a mechanical ventilator. Elimination of these costs can save over $20,000 per year for the life of the patient.
Surgery is usually performed at a local hospital, and some implants can be performed on an outpatient basis. Onsite engineering assistance is provided during surgery at no additional cost, and systems include transtelephonic monitoring (TTM) which allows the equipment to be monitored over a telephone from anywhere in the world.