First diaphragm procedure of its kind in Arizona
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A quadriplegic patient has become the first Arizonan to undergo a new medical procedure that allows him to breathe on his own.
University Medical Center in Tucson says one of its doctors successfully implanted an electrical diaphragm stimulator on a 20-year-old man who suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of a gunshot to the neck.
The procedure ends a patient's dependence on a ventilator and allows more mobility while also improving their sense of smell.
About 11,000 patients become quadriplegic each year in the United States and 500 will require a ventilator for life. Doctors say the diaphragm stimulator will help 70 percent of those patients.
The battery-powered diaphragm stimulator was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2008.