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Do You Transport Sma Patients?


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#1 CheetahBreath

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 03:24 PM

If your service gets SMA patients, how do you accommodate taking their home equipment? Or does your service have it's own cough machine?
Please do tell.
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#2 Macgyver

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 01:24 AM

If your service gets SMA patients, how do you accommodate taking their home equipment? Or does your service have it's own cough machine?
Please do tell.


SMA? An acronym I haven't seen before...
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Ken BHSc, RN, REMT-P

#3 CheetahBreath

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 01:13 PM

SMA? An acronym I haven't seen before...


Spinal Muscular Atrophy...inborn neuromuscular disease of infancy. They can't use intercostals and only breath with their diaphragm. Our service sees quite a few as we are a center for this disease. We have to transport with some select equipment and I wondered if anyone else has flown with this stuff.



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#4 medicRT

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 01:39 AM

Spinal Muscular Atrophy...inborn neuromuscular disease of infancy. They can't use intercostals and only breath with their diaphragm. Our service sees quite a few as we are a center for this disease. We have to transport with some select equipment and I wondered if anyone else has flown with this stuff.


I am somewhat familiar with SMA - have seen them as inpatients (but not many) as not my prime area of practice - never had to transport one as I can recall - and so by no means an expert in their chronic care. I have used "cougholater" or cough assist machines to help them and I think that may be what you are refering to.

My two cents is... that while these machines are purpose built for cough assist etc. there are many manual or low tech techniques that were used before these machines came around that don't require unusual equipment not found in the normal transport vehicle - ie. augmented resps with a BVM to trach or mouthpiece and even (but more difficult via resusc maks) and a bimanual cough augmentation by the provider.

If you are a specialty centre I would suggest you check with a Physioterapist - manual assisted cough techniques are part of the scope for both RTs and PTs in my region.

Hope this is helpful.
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#5 CheetahBreath

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 06:13 PM

I am somewhat familiar with SMA - have seen them as inpatients (but not many) as not my prime area of practice - never had to transport one as I can recall - and so by no means an expert in their chronic care. I have used "cougholater" or cough assist machines to help them and I think that may be what you are refering to.

My two cents is... that while these machines are purpose built for cough assist etc. there are many manual or low tech techniques that were used before these machines came around that don't require unusual equipment not found in the normal transport vehicle - ie. augmented resps with a BVM to trach or mouthpiece and even (but more difficult via resusc maks) and a bimanual cough augmentation by the provider.

If you are a specialty centre I would suggest you check with a Physioterapist - manual assisted cough techniques are part of the scope for both RTs and PTs in my region.

Hope this is helpful.


I have taken care of this population for many, many years. We use a cough machine on our ambulance where it remains more or less installed. The pulmonologist in charge of the program does not want the kids transported without it and I concur. However, many of our kids live waaay out of state so we'd like to fly, but want to know if anyone has used the cough machine in an RW aircraft.
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#6 target813

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 02:24 PM

The ones I have flown were either on BiPap or on vent for support.
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