Muscular dystrophy is a group of diseases that cause progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass. In muscular dystrophy, abnormal genes (mutations) interfere with the production of proteins needed to form healthy muscle.

There are many kinds of muscular dystrophy. Symptoms of the most common variety begin in childhood, mostly in boys. Other types do not surface until adulthood. Duchenne type muscular dystrophy is the most common form. Although girls can be carriers and mildly affected, it is much more common in boys. In Becker muscular dystrophy signs and symptoms are like those of Duchenne muscular dystrophy but tend to be milder and progress more slowly. Symptoms generally begin in the teens but might not occur until the mid-20’s or later. Some types of muscular dystrophy are defined by a specific feature or by where in the body symptoms begin. Examples include:
  • MyotonicThis is characterized by an inability to relax muscles following contractions. Facial and neck muscles are usually the first to be affected. People with this form typically have long, thin faces; drooping eyelids; and swanlike necks.
  • Facioscapulohumeral (FSHD)Muscle weakness typically begins in the face, hip, and shoulders. The shoulder blades might stick out like wings when arms are raised. Onset usually occurs in the teenage years but can begin in childhood or as late as age 50.
  • CongenitalThis type affects boys and girls and is apparent at birth or before age 2. Some forms progress slowly and cause only mild disability, while others progress rapidly and cause severe impairment.
  • Limb-girdleHip and shoulder muscles are usually affected first. People with this type of muscular dystrophy might have difficulty lifting the front part of the foot and so might trip frequently. Onset usually begins in childhood or the teenage years.

How Does BCV Impact These Patients?

Biphasic Cuirass Ventilation (BCV) can be initiated early after the diagnosis of MD. Studies have shown that early intervention may slow down the progression for the need of invasive mechanical ventilation and tracheostomy. This will minimize the unnecessary side effects of prolonged use of positive pressure ventilation and decrease hospital readmissions, time spent in the ICU, and in the hospital. In addition, the patient will be able to eat, drink and talk with breath to breath augmentation of their lung volumes.

Increased Lung Recruitment

  • BCV works in conjunction with your bodies physiology to naturally fill more of the lung with air

Better Patient Experience

  • By allowing patients to continue to eat and drink, as well as speak to their loved ones, BCV fosters patient independence, and active involvement with their treatment.

Increased Cardiac Output

  • A brief period of cuirass NPV increases cardiac output of patients.

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