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Resuscitation with Porta-Lung cont.

July 29, 2008 on 12:56 pm | In submarinesusie | 2 Comments

I promised to tell my readers how long it takes to get into the porta-lung. So here is the exciting news! From getting through the front port hole and fastening the collar securely around the neck to turning the NEV on, it takes 3 to 4 minutes. I’m not sure if that is fast enough to resuscitate someone. This is a question for all you brilliant respiratory therapists out there to answer or investigate. Have some fun and challenge the idea!

Porta-Lung vs. Bi-PAP

July 25, 2008 on 1:58 pm | In submarinesusie | No Comments

In my opinion the Porta-Lung is better than Bi-PAP for people with chronic respiratory problems because the Porta-Lung is restful and breathes for you so you don’t have to worry about breathing on your own. My biggest fear is going to sleep and to stop breathing during a deep slumber. So I choose to be on a ventilator that I KNOW will consistently breathe for me to (mentally) allow me to sleep. I don’t want to have to consciously tell myself to breathe 24/7 with my compromised respiratory system. Bi-PAP is great for those with respiratory diseases like asthma where the patient only needs a ventilator for periods of time but I’m not really convinced it is good for long term respiratory patients who depend on ventilators for breathing assistance. Bi-PAP is mostly used in sleep apnea cases and as a transitory means of ventilation – where the patient goes from intubation to weaning off a respirator. With Bi-PAP ventilation the positive pressure generated by the ventilator, combined with the negative pressure produced by the inspiratory muscles, produce a flow. This means that the machine depends somewhat on the patient’s breathing muscles to produce the negative pressure effect that is required. If you depend on my lungs to produce a negative pressure for too long, you will witness the decrease of oxygen and the lungs going flat - like a tire being deflated. When I did a sleep study for CPAP, I flunked…didn’t sleep a wink. The reason being, I was stressed and the machine didn’t feel good. I imagine the same results would occur if I tried Bi-PAP. Bi-PAP sounds like it is basically a positive pressure ventilator without the tubes. The Porta-Lung is about 97% negative pressure with 3% positive pressure which really is more compatible with the human respiratory system. The Porta-Lung never fails – it’s as steady as the day is long.

Resuscitation with Negative Pressure

July 23, 2008 on 3:26 pm | In submarinesusie | No Comments

I read an article on the invention of the Iron Lung and it is very interesting to note that this respirator was the leading device for resuscitation in the late 20th century. In an experimentation, Philip Drinker placed an anaesthetized cat in a sealed iron box with a neck collar, allowing the body to be within a fully-pressurized environment. Under these conditions, he was able to record accurate measurements of respiration as it was directly relative to his control of the air pressure within the sealed box. Inhalation increased the cat’s volume within the box and made the pressure rise, while exhalation produced the opposite effect. Porta-Lung Inc has conducted similar research studies on the Porta-lung at John Hopkins and other places but instead of a cat, they used a rabbit. With a ventilator like the NEV-100, more accurate measurements of respiration can be recorded with the Porta-Lung because the settings on the NEV are very precise.

The scientist wanted to test a hypothesis: if the cat could not breathe independently, then he would experiment with air pressure by increasing or decreasing the pressure in the chamber to induce respiration. Drinker injected the cat with the South American arrow-poison curare to produce an effect of extremely relaxed muscles, to the point of respiratory arrest. He then placed the cat into the sealed box and used a hand-operated piston to manually control the pressure. The experiment was successful and showed that controlled pressure in a sealed environment could induce respiration.

This is also true for humans. When a person has respiratory arrest, he or she can get into a porta-lung to be resuscitated. With the increase in air pressure, it induces respiration and gets the lungs moving. Is positive pressure a better way of resuscitation? It is faster, I agree, and in an emergency faster is better. However, I am going to be controversial and say that one could be resuscitated just as quickly in a Porta-Lung. It is only a matter how fast can you get the patient inside the chamber, fasten the collar securely and turn the machine on to breathe. When I get in the machine tonight, I am going to time this procedure and see how long it takes.
To continue being controversial I am going to pose a question: Was replacing negative pressure with positive pressure as the primary means of resuscitation good for the person’s health? I will answer this controversially and say “No, in the long run it is not good for one’s health – not overall. Why? Because positive pressure can damage the lungs, but not only that, it weakens the lungs and makes them lazy. After awhile of being on positive pressure, the lungs can’t do anything and then the person begins to think, “I need this air blown into my lungs because they don’t work and there’s no way I could ever breathe on my own.” Whether one tells himself this or someone in the medical field does, it is a defeatist attitude. It is also a mistruth. The lungs can work independently if they are given a chance.

Healing with a Porta-Lung

July 15, 2008 on 9:34 am | In submarinesusie | 2 Comments

The Porta-Lung is a good tool for healing respiratory problems such as colds and bronchial congestion. Since my respiratory system is compromised, breathing becomes more difficult and I get more tired when I have a cold. So I really welcome the Porta-Lung’s assistance. Instead of the usual 11 to 13 hours I spend nightly in the Lung, I might spend an extra hour in it to help me fight the infection. How does it help fight the infection? Well, it takes all the stress off my lungs and makes it easier to rest. If one can’t sleep and rest, it will take longer to recover. I imagine the new Cough Assist ventilator from Porta Lung Inc would help the patient to get rid of phlegm with assistance in coughing. I have not tried this machine yet but coughing is very difficult for me so this would probably help those with the same problem.

The Blue Monster: Fears About the Porta-Lung

July 4, 2008 on 2:53 pm | In submarinesusie | 8 Comments

In this post, I will try to address potential fears or apprehension that some people may have about the porta-lung. At first sight, it probably looks like a machine from outer space. It might look to some people like a blue monster waiting to consume the one who enters its chamber. Is this a fanciful notion – a figment of the imagination – because of the uncertainty about the Porta-lung? Yes. There is no truth in the Porta-lung being a monster. I have to admit, my reaction to the Iron Lung (3 decades ago) was one of fear and apprehension at having to try a ventilator which seemed like ten times my size. This fear was quickly overcome through my great determination and will to live.

Over the years I have shown people my Porta-lung and inevitably they ask: “How could anyone sleep in a machine like that? I would think you’d feel so cramped inside there. Do you actually like it?”

My answer is: It’s a great machine! I love it. It is so relaxing because it just takes over the breathing and I can sleep like a baby!

One concern people have had upon seeing my porta lung is claustrophobia. They would have to stand way back from the machine for fear of the tight space. God thankfully spared me from claustrophobia so the Porta-lung doesn’t phase me a bit.

One might get the impression that the Porta-lung is barbaric because it seems like you are strangling someone by fastening a collar around their neck. This isn’t true either. The collars need to be fastened tightly so that the machine can reach its set air pressure without too much taxation on the ventilator that runs it. Once the machine is running, I don’t feel that the collar is strangling me. I only feel the machine pushing air into my lungs and through all my airways (nose, mouth and trach). The focus is not on the collar but rather on the breathing of the machine.

No need to complain about a ventilator that helps me. My attitude is: Don’t bite the hand that feeds me. Be grateful that God has blessed me with a gift like the Porta-lung.

With my respiratory problems, my choice is between a non-invasive negative pressure ventilator or a positive pressure ventilator with invasive tubing in my throat. Hands down, negative pressure with the Porta-lung!

Achieving Your Goals Inside the Porta-Lung

July 4, 2008 on 12:17 pm | In submarinesusie | 4 Comments

What if the individual needed to be inside the Porta-Lung 24 hours a day? Could he live his own life or make a living on his own? I don’t know, but I don’t see why not. One could use a computer while inside the Porta-Lung with voice recognition technology. Also, one could have a hands free telephone with a soft headset to go on his head so that one could lay there and talk to clients, family or friends without getting a headache.

If you are physically handicapped but have the use of your mind, the Porta-Lung should be a help, not a hindrance, to improving your life. One has to be able to breathe in order to live. Good oxygen levels in the body are vital to the heart and the overall functioning of the organs. My first concern is being able to breathe; everything else is adapted to this concern.

You can have a life outside the Porta-Lung. I went to school for first, second and third grade. Then I was home schooled from fourth through twelth grade. During these years I had several tutors. Some came to the house or I would go to them for tutoring. Though it takes me longer to do things with my handicap, I am working on getting a college education and hope someday to have a few books published. I enjoy writing for this blog with the mission to spread the news about the benefits of the Porta-Lung.

If you have any interest and want to know more about using the Porta-Lung, feel to post your questions here. It’s easy! Just register and post. I’ll be glad to answer any questions that I can.

Porta-Lung’s Participation with Respiratory System

July 3, 2008 on 11:11 am | In submarinesusie | 2 Comments

The Porta-Lung relaxes my lungs so that they conform to the breath work of the machine while I’m in it. It is sort of like someone who reaches out their hand to help someone who walks with a limp. When the one limping takes the hand of the helper, suddenly he can walk a little more freely feeling confident that he won’t fall. The Porta-Lung is the “helper”. By cooperating with the its breathing rhythm, I am, in a sense, unconsciouly breathing along with the machine. The Porta-Lung is taking the burden off my lungs like the helper who reaches out his hand to the limper. I get stronger as I work to align myself with the Porta-Lung’s aid to the thoracic cage. The relaxation of being inside the machine comes with the Porta-Lung’s increase in my oxygen level and the elimination of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide tends to build up more rapidly in those with respiratory difficulties because of weak lung capacity.

How to make the Porta-Lung more user Friendly

July 2, 2008 on 11:21 am | In submarinesusie | 2 Comments

From the days of the company’s creation, Porta-Lung Inc has improved the materials used with the Porta-lung by leaps and bounds. In the old days I used to use a plastic collar which was paper thin. Someone could poke a hole in it with their fingernail by accident, creating problems in the neck seal. Now they use nylon and polartek collars which are thicker and softer on the neck. I like the polartek collars best because they give a better seal so you don’t have to tighten the collar as much.

I believe customization to certain features of the Porta-Lung might be a good idea. For some people, the inside length might not be long enough so customizing it for tall people would make the product more appealing to a wide range of people. If the patient has to stay in the machine all the time, it might be wise to invent a system for them to read while in there. For instance, I would put a shelf on the front to hold the book and then put a remote inside for the patient to turn the pages.

My Friendly Ventilator

July 1, 2008 on 10:07 am | In submarinesusie | 8 Comments

Is a ventilator a pain in the neck? Does it take over your life? The answer is: No. A ventilator isn’t meant to be an albatross around the patient’s neck. In many cases, the ventilator is a burden because people don’t know how to use it. My hope with this blog is to let people know that the Porta-Lung is a respirator worth trying. It can be made to be more user friendly. Ordinary people without any medical knowledge can learn to use a Porta-Lung with simple instructions from Porta-Lung experts.

My vent is my friend as long as it runs smoothly! It is my breath of life, and in a way, it has become part of me, as I am dependent on it for its assistance during the night. I read in an article online that most doctors and health professionals don’t think ventilators improve a person’s quality of life. The most common reason is a “poor projected quality of life.” When we talk about the NEV-100 and the Porta Lung, I would have to disagree. In my case, I wouldn’t be alive today if I didn’t have a NEV and Porta Lung so I would say my quality of life has improved from using it.

The article reports how clinic directors underestimated the satisfaction reported by those who use ventilators. In a life study by John Bach, he compared responses of 80 muscular dystrophy ventilator users with responses by 273 MDA clinic directors. The study concluded that patients who were perceived by physicians to have a poor quality of life were less likely to be offered assisted ventilation. How can physicians be so sure that these people’s quality of life would not improve, if they were offered assisted ventilation? How is the phrase “poor quality of life” to be determined? Some may think that those with any handicap have a poor quality of life. However, it has been proven those with handicaps can have a better quality of life, if they use a ventilator, especially a Porta Lung.

I recently talked with a young man who has muscular dystrophy and uses a Porta Lung. He is very happy with it and would not want to change to another type of ventilator, if he doesn’t have to. He has used the Porta Lung since the early stages of contracting the disease and likes the way it feels. I agree with his opinion.

In a 1992 study by Bach and Campagnolo of 395 ventilator-assisted people who had had polio, 86 percent reported their lives were characterized by hope, value, freedom and happiness. The Porta Lung gives hope and a sense of value to the individual in that its breath work is reliable and allows the user to be their own person while on the machine.

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