Due to the nature of ALS as a degenerative disease, there is often a reduced quality of life as the disease progresses.  However, there are steps that can be taken to improve the quality of life following diagnosis of the disease.  One such step is utilization of the Avery Diaphragm Pacing System for breathing assistance for ALS patients.  Although patients with ALS will eventually need to move to mechanical ventilation, the diaphragm pacing system is often a preferred option until mechanical ventilation is necessary, and may delay the need for mechanical ventilation by exercising the diaphragms.

ALS and Respiratory Function

The diaphragm is a critical muscle that expands and contracts in order to draw air into the lungs. When the muscle becomes so weak that an adequate level of breathing cannot be maintained, breathing assistance methods such as mechanical ventilation and diaphragm pacing may be used.

Diaphragm pacing utilizes stimulating pulses to the phrenic nerves, causing the diaphragm to contract and air to be inhalated.  When the pulses stop, the diaphragms relax and exhalation occurs.  As this is repeated, a normal breathing pattern occurs.

Benefits of Diaphragm Pacing

Many patients prefer diaphragm pacing over positive pressure ventilation (PPV) often performed by mechanical ventilators whenever possible.  Diaphragm pacing performed by a diaphragm pacing system draws air into the lungs utilizing negative pressure as opposed to air being forced into the lungs from PPV.  This creates amore natural feeling and is comfortable for the patient.

The size of the device also allows for greater mobility.  The portable device ensures that the patient can move much more freely than when utilizing a large mechanical ventilator.

Patients utilizing diaphragm pacing also typically have fewer infections resulting in fewer costly hospital stays.

For More Information

Although there is no known cure for ALS, there are options available to help improve quality of life as the disease progresses.  The Avery Diaphragm Pacing System has been used worldwide and may help improve quality of life regarding respiratory issues.  If you or a loved one are concerned with quality of life with ALS, please contact us for more information and consult your physician.  We also have many providers worldwide.  You may find the nearest location through our provider maps.

The Avery Diaphragm Pacing System System

The Avery Diaphragm Pacing System System is the only diaphragm-pacing system with full pre-market approval from the USFDA and CE marking privileges under the European Active Implantable Medical Device Directive for both adult and pediatric use. In addition, its system of using small implanted radiofrequency receivers rather than electrode wires that pass directly through the skin may decrease a patient’s risk of infection and ongoing wound care management issues.

Avery has been commercially distributing diaphragm pacing systems since the early 1970’s. Since then, more than 2,000 patients have been implanted in over 40 countries establishing an unsurpassed record of safety and reliability.
Learn more about the Avery Diaphragm Pacing System System