While there many types of respiratory
devices, the following are the three that Donna utilized;
Inexsufflator (Cough Assist Device) Keeping air passage ways clear while maintaining lung elasticity
oxometer To periodically check pulse and oxygen level
Simply stated, the in-exsufflator exercises the lungs by more
fully expanding them and then brings debris up from the air passages into the
mouth in a vacuuming sequence, where it can be suctioned out in a
- Donna used this early in her illness and by doing so
it helped to maintain the elasticity of the lungs in the early stages of
illness. Then as the muscles became weaker it also provided a way bring up the debris that
under normal circumstances a person can cough up. This debris then could
be easily suctioned out of the mouth in a non-invasive manner.
- While no two
patients are alike and what works for one may not always work for the
other, this device allowed Donna to keep her air passages and lungs
clear of debris.
- It represented a major factor in her not having any pneumonia's
throughout the time that she had ALS.
- We are told that one of the reasons
that Donna was able to use it so effectively was because she began using
it early-on & she was totally
familiar with how it worked.
During my attendance at
the International Symposium on ALS I was told by many doctors that this
device has provided for a very significant improvement in the in the care of
On the lighter side, when
Donna came home from the clinic with this device she immediately requested
that our granddaughters choose a name that they liked and that we could all
remember. They immediately started
calling it “Mr. Snuffaluffagus”, after the Sesame Street Character!!
The device is
manufactured by Emerson and sold by Respironics.
In the event that your physician determines
that this device would be helpful for your particular situation, we recommend
contacting a respiratory care provider such as RespicAir,P.C. 716-
2. Non-invasive Bi-Pap
A respiratory device
that provides face mask administered ventilation which -
- Decreases the work of breathing
- Increases the volume of air inhaled into the
- Improves breathing by removing carbon dioxide and
increasing oxygen into the lungs
Improves quality of life
by providing for increased activity
level during the day
Nasal and Mouth
Full face mask
the mask that works best for each patient is very important
3. Pulse Oximeter
- The hand held
pulse oximeter provides on-the-spot blood oximetry and heart
rate readings. Features a display, and a 72-hour memory.
Designed to be easy to use for healthcare professionals and patients.
- This device can simply be placed around one finger and it will provide a direct readout
indicating oxygen levels and
- Those readings were helpful
in knowing when the use of Bi-Pap Non-Invasive Ventilation may be most
Dr. John Bach - Non-invasive ventilation
J.W. Emerson Company
The following ALS Patient site is highly recommended as it has many links with