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Paraplegia. 1991 Feb;29(2):113-9.

Effect of respiratory training with a mouth-nose-mask in tetraplegics.

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  • 1Centre for Spinal Cord Injured, Department TH, Hornbaek, Denmark.


Ten tetraplegics, 8 males and 2 females, with a median age of 32 years participated in a scheduled 6 weeks training programme with a respiratory muscle training mouth-nose-mask (RMT-mask) with a fixed expiratory and an increasing inspiratory resistance set by the tetraplegic in accordance to his/her increasing ability during the training period. During the 6 weeks the tetraplegics required to use the RMT-mask for 15 minutes three times a day. Before and after each training session they measured peak flow (PEF). Lung volumes, ventilatory and diffusion capacity were measured before and after the 6 weeks training period. The training resulted only in a significant change in the PEF, which increased with 11% from 371 l/min before to 412 l/min in average after the 6 weeks of training (p less than 0.025). This statistically significant increase was confirmed by the measurements of PEF performed by the tetraplegics themselves during the training period. In addition there was an increase in PEF from before to immediately after each 15 minutes training session, this trend reached statistically significance (p less than 0.025) in the third '2 weeks period'. These results might indicate a possibility of improving the tetraplegics ability to cough by use of a simple RMT-mask, which in turn might prevent certain lung complications including pneumonia, and atelectasia.

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