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A Short History of Medical Expert Guidelines and How They Pertain to Tracheostomy Tubes and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Bach, John R. MD

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: July 2019 - Volume 98 - Issue 7 - p 622–626
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000001172
Analysis & Perspective

Continuous noninvasive ventilatory support (CNVS) and mechanical insufflation-exsufflation have been used since 1953 to spare patients with ventilatory pump failure from ever-requiring tracheostomy tubes for ventilatory support or secretion management. Today there are patients with spinal muscular atrophy type 1 who are 25 yrs old and CNVS dependent since 4 months or age, postpolio survivors CNVS dependent for 64 yrs, Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients over age 45 CNVS dependent for over 25 yrs, high-level spinal cord injured patients CNVS dependent for over 20 yrs, and even lung disease patients dependent on CNVS. All these patients, although unweanable from ventilatory support and with little or no measurable vital capacity, can also be extubated to CNVS and mechanical insufflation-exsufflation when necessary to continue CNVS. No patients want tracheostomy tubes. However, for various reasons, this is not cited in academic society expert guidelines. This article considers the extent of the damage being caused by this.

From the Departments of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Neurology, and Center for Ventilator Management Alternatives and Pulmonary Rehabilitation of the University Hospital, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey.

All correspondence should be addressed to: John R. Bach, MD, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Behavioral Health Sciences Building F1559, 183 South Orange Ave, Newark, NJ 07103.

Financial disclosure statements have been obtained, and no conflicts of interest have been reported by the authors or by any individuals in control of the content of this article.

Online date: March 5, 2019

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