In a halftime ceremony honoring him on September 14, 2013, Eric LeGrand, a former Rutgers defensive lineman who was paralyzed in a 2010 game, appealed to the stadium’s crowd to support research to cure paralysis.

“I’m hearing a lot of great things,” LeGrand said to the Associated Press. “The doctors are talking about stem cells regenerating the spinal cord. I’m not going to speak for all the scientists, but I’m hearing great things and they all say what they need is the money for the research.”

LeGrand is the first player in the university’s 144-year history to have his jersey retired.

We, at Avery Biomedical Devices, applaud LeGrand and his efforts to support research for a cure for paralysis. In addition to advancing research, Avery Biomedical Devices provides diaphragm pacing systems for quadriplegics and those with spinal cord injuries.

Quadriplegia is the loss of voluntary movement and sensation in all four extremities, and usually results from a cervical spinal cord injury. It can also result in the patient being ventilator dependent. Immediately following the injury, a mechanical ventilator provides this assistance. After the patient is neurologically and orthopedically stable, a diaphragm pacing system should be considered.

A diaphragm pacing system is a surgically implanted phrenic nerve stimulator that delivers electrical impulses to the diaphragm and restores breathing function. It is indicated for quadriplegia in ventilator-dependent patients whose diaphragm, lungs, and phrenic nerves have residual function. Pre-operative screening is determined by the patient’s physicians, but typically includes EMG studies of phrenic nerve conduction and pulmonary function tests.

Breathing pacemakers offer numerous advantages over a mechanical ventilator. One of the major advantages to the diaphragm pacing system is the comfort and freedom it provides. Traditional mechanical ventilators are not transportable, restricting the patient’s movement. The Avery diaphragm pacing system’s compact size liberates the patient from the immobility caused by the traditional ventilator. In addition, pacing patients have a lower risk of upper airway infections including ventilator-associated pneumonia. Ventilator-dependent patients often prefer the Avery Diaphragm Pacing System System over a mechanical ventilator because it operates silently, allows for normal breathing and speech patterns, and improves ease of eating and drinking and sense of smell.

More about 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, nearly 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.

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