Biphasic Cuirass Ventilation (BCV) has been proven to be an effective form of ventilation and secretion clearance for patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). Many parents prefer BCV over other forms of ventilation because:
1) More comfortable than alternative forms of ventilation
2) Easy to use and apply
3) Non-invasive and mask-free
4) Allows their child to eat, drink and talk while fully ventilated
When the muscles involved in breathing become very weak in DMD patients, lung function becomes inadequate so that there is not enough oxygen and too much carbon dioxide in the blood. This causes drowsiness, headaches and a general lack of well-being. When this happens, assistance with breathing through a face mask, used during sleep, may return the blood oxygen and carbon dioxide levels to normal and relieve the symptoms.
A small number of affected people choose to have mechanically assisted breathing for 24 hours a day when their breathing muscles are so weak that they could not otherwise support life.
The goal of BCV in DMD patients is to offload the work of breathing full time, nocturnally and/or at naps to prevent hypoventilation that subsequently leads to more pathological changes such as hypercapnia, hypoxemia, atelectasis and V/Q mismatch to name just a few.
Secretion Clearance is often indicated for secretion management and assisted coughing in some patients. The use of BCV will improve quality of life and prevent reoccurring admissions to health care facilities.