Aim: Mechanical in-exsufflation (MI-E) augments the weakened cough of patients with neuromuscular disease (NMD), clearing secretions and overcoming atelectasis. Little has been published on the impact of MI-E alone on rates of hospitalisation and quality of life (QOL). The aim of this study was to assess the impact of home MI-E on hospital admissions and life-style in children with NMD.
Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed on children using MI-E, including data on the number of admissions to hospital, length of stay and hours of ventilation. A parental survey was used to gather information on the impact of MI-E on life-style for the child and family.
Results: Ten children with NMD (seven spinal muscular atrophy, two Duchenne muscular dystrophy and one centronuclear myopathy) using MI-E at home were identified. MI-E use commenced at mean age of 8.5 years (range 1.1-16.9) with 1.4 years of use (range 0.3-3.8). MI-E pressures ranged from +/-30 to 40 cmH2 O with no complications reported. There was a significant reduction in hospital days at 6 (P = 0.036) and 12 (P = 0.028) months following commencement of home MI-E compared with the same period preceding MI-E use. The survey highlighted positive benefits of MI-E use, in particular the ability to treat many pulmonary exacerbations at home.
Conclusions: Home MI-E use by children with NMD can reduce hospitalisation and benefit families by maintaining their child at home.
© 2013 The Authors. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health © 2013 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians).