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Easy maintenance of a Porta-Lung

June 24, 2008 on 3:58 pm | In submarinesusie | 4 Comments

The Porta-Lung is easy to manage. Once every few years we have to replace the collar on the front that seals around my neck or replace the black seal around the fiberglass door. These things just wear out over time and we just order new materials from Porta-Lung Inc. Dano Carbone is very nice and always happy to help us repair what needs repairing on the Lung. We have Apria Healthcare come quarterly to the house to check the NEV 100 ventilator to make sure it is in good condition. We rent the vents so Apria will give me new ones every year. There is very low maintenance so the family can easily care for a patient on a Porta-Lung without any medical assistance.

When I used positive pressure, my family had to change the tubing every day. They had to do a thorough cleaning to get rid of all the bacteria and germs that builds up in the tubes. We had to have 24 hour nursing care and my family never knew a moment’s peace. With the Iron Lung and Porta-Lung, we could get rid of the nursing care which cut down on medical expenses tremendously. We became more self sufficient and this allowed us more private time to be a family.

Discomforts of Positive Pressure vs. Comforts of Negative Pressure

June 23, 2008 on 9:20 am | In submarinesusie | No Comments

With my respiratory arrest in 1992, I had a lot of discomfort with having a trach and being attached to respirator tubes. After all the years of using negative pressure, I hated being trached because trachs create mucous as it is a foreign object in the throat. I was used to having an open tracheotomy without having the trach tube in my throat. Trachs are not necessary for negative pressure, but I have used the Porta-Lung while with a trach. The Porta-Lung is easily adapted to those with trachs. When you try it, you will see how it eliminates all of those discomforts of positive pressure!

Another discomfort of positive pressure is the sporadic breathing pattern. It is nerve wracking to be on a positive pressure machine because it is foreign to one’s respiratory system. As I stated in a previous blog, the rhythm of the breaths is cause for alarm because it only shoots air into the lungs. There is either too much time between breaths or not enough time. It is scary to wonder if you are getting enough air or to feel like you’re hyper-ventilating. It is very disconcerting. The lungs receive no exercise or stimulus to get the person to ultimately breathe on one’s own so for one with paralysis to the lungs, positive pressure is useless. I got weaker the longer I used positive pressure. The tubing causes infections and some problems with swallowing while eating.

No Worries with Negative Pressure Porta-Lung

June 19, 2008 on 8:59 am | In submarinesusie | No Comments

When I was a baby, I contracted spinal meningitis and had to be on positive pressure for about 3 years. Positive pressure was a nightmare! Someone always had to be on watch making sure the respirator was doing its job correctly. My parents were always afraid of the respirator malfunctioning and their fears came true. The respirator inhaled without exhaling which blew a hole in both my lungs and collapsed them. The machine had blown me so full of air that my face, head and body looked like a balloon. The doctors had to insert little needles into my veins, I guess to release all the air. Needless to say, it was scary for my family to see my like that!

When we were introduced to the Iron Lung, all those nightmares vanished because we found negative pressure was a safer means of respiration. Like the Iron Lung, the Porta-Lung is safe because it is in harmony with a human’s breathing pattern. The nice thing about the Porta-Lung is that it gives me enough strength to be out of the machine during the day so I can go about my life! If the pressure gets too high or too low, the ventilator will sound an alarm in warning, but there are very few times when we encounter problems. When there is an electrical storm and the power goes out, the machine shuts off but with our trusty surge protector, this never affects the machine. I can breathe on my own so when the machine shuts off in a power outage, it doesn’t affect my lungs in any way. It is very safe. I like to be in the Porta-Lung anywhere from 11 to 13 hours a night. That’s what my body is used to.

If you have any questions about using the Porta-Lung, you can email me at submarinesusie@portalung.com. I’ll be happy to answer questions that relate to my experience in using the Porta-Lung.

My Discovery of the Porta-Lung

June 18, 2008 on 8:15 am | In submarinesusie | No Comments

Before I speak further about the Porta-Lung, I’d like to say a few words about its predecessor, the Iron Lung. The old fashioned Iron Lung is a just a bigger model of the Porta-Lung. After living on positive pressure for three years, the Iron Lung opened up a whole new world and really changed my life forever. The Iron Lung became like a friend to me at the young age of five. I used to call it “the yellow submarine.” I must admit, it was a little scary at first for a little girl of 5 yrs old (I’m a small person) to get in this huge machine that weighed 1000 lbs! Once I began to use it though, I adjusted to it very well and it truly was a lifesaver for me. It gave me the opportunity to shed the tubes of the positive pressure respirator and strengthened my lungs to the point where I only needed the aid of a ventilator during the night. There were periods during my childhood when I didn’t need to use any kind of respirator. However, things changed when I reached puberty because my scoliosis got worse, making it more difficult to breathe. After an evaluation, the doctors suggested I should use the Iron Lung every night henceforth. We moved a lot and since the Iron Lung was too big to move with us, I started to use a more portable negative pressure ventilator called a turtle shell which was run by a compressor the size of vacuum cleaner. This ventilator was not powerful enough so gradually I began to lose strength in my lungs and catching a cold sent me into respiratory failure where I was hospitalized.

In 1992, I discovered the Porta-Lung. After using the Porta-Lung for the first time, I felt like I had known it all my life since I had grown accustomed to the Iron Lung. As a user of both machines, I can tell you that everything about the Porta-Lung is exactly the same as the Iron Lung, just a smaller version.

I have been using the Porta-Lung for 16 years now and according to my pulmonologist, it has increased my respiration levels to 100%. For one who has a severe scoliosis and paralysis in the left lung, the Porta-Lung has done wonders for me! It has improved my quality of life and has allowed me to be as independent as possible.

How Negative Pressure from the Porta-Lung Beneficial

June 16, 2008 on 8:58 am | In submarinesusie | No Comments

Negative pressure with the Porta-Lung is natural to a person’s breathing pattern. This is how it works. When the Porta-Lung inhales, the diaphragm moves downwards to push the air into my lungs. Then, when it exhales the diaphragm moves upwards which releases the air from my lungs. The Porta-Lung conforms to a person’s respiration patterns which can improve one’s general health over time. For someone like me whose lungs are paralyzed, it feels wonderful because it completely takes over my breathing and gives me a total rest. I really look forward to it at night after breathing on my own throughout the day! With a computerized ventilator such as the NEV that I use, I can customize the settings to conform to my breathing pattern – rhythm feels most comfortable to me. For example, I am most comfortable with an air pressure of 26 and a rate of 15 breaths per minute. Some people may like more pressure with fewer breaths per minute so the NEV allows one to set these levels to adapt to the user’s body.

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