Use of temporary, transvenous phrenic nerve pacer for diaphragm activation to mitigate lung and neurological injury in critically ill patients
A breathing machine (ventilator) is the foundation of the intensive care unit and has saved many lives but it is associated with lung injury. Collapse of parts of the lungs (atelectasis) is common in these patients due pressures on the lungs from lying flat for long periods of time. Alveoli are the small sacks in the lung where gas exchange occurs. During lung collapse, some of the alveoli close during part or all of the respiratory cycle. This opening and closing of the alveoli causes lung injury and alveoli that remain open can become over distended and injured. Minimizing atelectasis is an important part of protecting the lungs.
The diaphragm is the major muscle responsible for breathing and it reduces atelectasis by opening the lungs. Two phrenic nerves enervate the diaphragm. TO BE CONT'D