Cough Assist

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Berdyna

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Hi All, My brother has been admitted to hospital last Friday due to obstipation. On Monday he developed a pneumonia and his.lungs were filled.up.with fluid. Now he is in UTC and doctors are giving treatment for infection. His infections has started to reduce however his cough is at zero now according to doctors and he cannot stay without mask. He was using the cough assist machine while in hopsital and we are afraid that he used the cough machine much more than it was supposed in order to clear the mucus. Could the cough machine might have caused some.damage in muscle as his breathing is very bad. We are very devastated .
 

lgelb

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I'm very sorry about your brother, Berdyna. It is much more likely that the pneumonia accelerated the progression of his breathing difficulty, than the Cough Assist, if it was used properly. However, it is also possible that when his infection has cleared more, that he will need the mask less.

People with ALS can live a year or more on continuous BiPAP using a mask, however.

Best,
Laurie
 

Berdyna

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Thank you very much Laurie. In case that is not used properly can the cough assist cause any damage?. Becuase he mentioned that he used more minutes until he cleared mucus and I am afraid that maybe that has caused more problems. According to doctors his infection has started to clear and he stayed at least one hour today without mask. I am hoping and praying that the infection will clear soon and he will be able to breath more without mask and there might not be a need to put him in a trachestomy. Its devastating!
 

lgelb

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If he can breathe OK with a mask, there is no need to talk about a tracheostomy at this point. I'm glad he's doing better.

If the Cough Assist helped to clear his mucus, it is unlikely that it caused a problem.
 

Berdyna

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Oo god he is in intubation in ICU since yesterday and doctors are saying the only option is tracheostomy. We do not know his wishes and his wife needs to take the decision. Please please advice what is the best course. It is very hard for us to decide. He has two small chidren and I know he would like to see them grow up but with trach and vent all the time I am not sure if he would like them to see him suffer. Until know he was ok legs paralazed but was able to talk, eat and move hands. He is in the 5 year in this disease and we were hoping for toferesn but it seems it will be late for him. Gosh its devastating my heart is broken
 

Nikki J

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I am so sorry. We can not tell you what is right but there are people who live meaningful lives trached and vented for years. prayers for all of you
 

lgelb

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After a tracheostomy, if he was able to speak before, the doctors should be able to use a special valve that allows him to continue to speak. If he was able to eat, he should still be able to, though it may feel different when swallowing.

If he is trached now, and later decides that his life is not the one he wants, he can withdraw from it later, though it would certainly be difficult for the family. Even after years, some people have made that choice.

Some people do better with the trach than others. If he still has hand movement and speech, he could be one of those that does better, though there are no guarantees.

Best,
Laurie
 
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