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Case Reports

Open Access Special Issue

Pulmonary Rehabilitation throughout the Weaning from Mechanical Ventilation for Complete Cervical Spinal Cord Injury: A Case Report

  • Bin Zhang1
  • Hongying Jiang1
  • Chenxi Zhang1
  • Yi Li1
  • Zhanqi Zhao2,3

1Department of Respiratory Rehabilitation Centre, Beijing Rehabilitation Hospital of Capital Medical University, Beijing, P. R. China

2Department of Biomedical Engineering, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, P. R. China

3Institute of Technical Medicine, Furtwangen University, Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany

DOI: 10.22514/sv.2020.16.0058 Vol.16,Issue 2,October 2020 pp.210-214

Published: 28 October 2020

(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spinal Cord Injury)

*Corresponding Author(s): Hongying Jiang E-mail:
*Corresponding Author(s): Zhanqi Zhao E-mail:


The aim of this report was to present a tailored program of weaning from mechanical ventilation successfully. This program was developed for the ventilator-dependent patient with spinal cord injury (SCI) and especially targeting the respiratory muscles. A 48-year old male had a car accident on 25 May 2019 and his limb muscle strengths were severely impaired. He was diagnosed with complete cervical spinal cord injury (level C4), difficult-to-wean. Electrical impedance tomography was used to direct the rehabilitation program. Besides, passive activities (stretching of the intercostal muscles, bed tilting, and passive movement of the scapula and the proximal end of the upper limbs) and active training (various diaphragmatic facilitation techniques) were applied for inspiratory muscle training. The patient was successfully weaned from mechanical ventilation and discharged from the hospital. The individualization of rehabilitation program was demonstrated before, during, and after weaning for the SCI patient. Rehabilitation program especially targeting the respiratory muscles would facilitate the weaning process for complete spinal cord injury.


Spinal cord injury, Respiratory muscles training, Weaning from mechanical ventilation, Rehabilitation program, Electrical impedance tomography

Cite and Share

Bin Zhang,Hongying Jiang,Chenxi Zhang,Yi Li,Zhanqi Zhao. Pulmonary Rehabilitation throughout the Weaning from Mechanical Ventilation for Complete Cervical Spinal Cord Injury: A Case Report. Signa Vitae. 2020. 16(2);210-214.


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