Medical equipment & healthcare: Part 2 E70 Cough Assist
The E70 Cough Assist Philips Respironics - Price: £4,620 - Price I pay: £0 on the NHS
PHILLIPS is the only company that makes them. Back in 2009 there was only 4 of these in Sheffield and only in hospitals, My doctor was telling me how good at stopping chest infections from developing, especially for people with Duchenne and other forms of muscular dystrophy. With the help from my mum and my great respiratory doctor, we had to fight to get one.
This machine simulates a cough, hence the name, It's technical name is a Mechanical Isufflator-Exsufflator. Air is pushed in your lungs at high speed, then the air is sucked back out like a vacuum cleaner, but instead of dust, it brings up mucus that most people cough up naturally throughout the day and than swallow. This is done through a mask that is pressed tightly against your nose and mouth, (some of my care givers hate doing it at first. You have to press it hard, so the air doesn't leak. They think it will hurt me, because us disabled's are all made of glass you know).
The first time I properly needed it was in May 2010, when I had a bad chest infection, that I ended up going to hospital for a weekend, to have IV antibiotics. Mucus was getting stuck and It was making it so hard to breath without my bipap on. This is where the cough assist came into it's own. It was the worst chest infection I ever had, but the cough assist was clearing a lot of mucus of my chest. I think it really helped stop me developing pneumonia (getting pneumonia is deadly to people with Duchenne). Thankfully (touch wood) that was the last time I was hospitalised.
It is recommend that I use it every morning, 4 breaths in, 4 out, then you have a rest. You do this 3 times. My chest feels so much better after I use it.
I honestly believe this machine helps in stopping me from getting chest infections, and the chest infections I have had in the last 10 years have been no where near as bad as May 2010. I may have had to fight back then for this mechine, but it thanks to the NHS that I have this cough assist that helps me stay alive.