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 has improved and he has not had any infections.
His quality of life is much improved for many reasons. His voice is better and he hears better which improves his social interactions. He is much more approachable out in public without the vent, and he is warmer on the pacer which makes him more comfortable wherever he is. In addition, he just feels more secure on the pacer. All in all, Dalen is happier and life is better for him on the pacer.
When asked if he was hesitant about being implanted with the Avery diaphragm pacer, Dalen stated “I was all for it.” “The pacers give me a little more freedom. I don’t have to worry about carrying a vent on my wheelchair and I don’t have to worry about running out of battery power.”
The Avery Diaphragm Pacing System is an implanted phrenic nerve or diaphragm stimulator. It consists of surgically implanted electrodes and receivers with an external transmitter and antennas.
It can be implanted either cervically or thoracically using minimally-invasive techniques such as video-assisted (VATS) or thoracoscopic approaches.
The Avery Diaphragm Pacing System is the only diaphragm pacing system to have full premarket approval (PMA) from the US FDA and CE Marking privileges under the European Active Implantable Medical Device Directive for adult and pediatric use.
In addition, using small implanted radio frequency 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. Due to their high reliability and cost effectiveness, the Avery pacers are reimbursed by Medicare and most private and government insurance around the world.