Communication is a serious problem for patients with ventilator-dependent tetraplegia. A 73-year-old man was presented at the emergency room in cardiopulmonary arrest after falling from a height of 2 m. After successful resuscitation, fractures of the cervical spine and cervical spinal cord injury were found. Due to paralysis of the respiratory muscles, a mechanical ventilator with a tracheostomy tube was required. First, a cuffed tracheostomy tube and a speaking tracheostomy tube were inserted, and humidified oxygen was introduced via the suction line. Using these tubes, the patient could produce speech sounds, but use was limited to 10 min due to discomfort. Second, a mouthstick stylus, fixed on a mouthpiece that fits over the maxillary teeth, was used. The patient used both a communication board and a touch screen device with this mouthstick stylus. The speaking tracheostomy tube and mouthstick stylus greatly improved his ability to communicate.
Mitate, E., Kubota, K., Ueki, K., Inoue, R., Inoue, R., Momii, K., … Nakamura, S. (2015). Speaking Tracheostomy Tube and Modified Mouthstick Stylus in a Ventilator-Dependent Patient with Spinal Cord Injury. Case Reports in Emergency Medicine, 2015, 1–3. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/320357