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diaphragm not working
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diaphragm not working

whoever can help... our grandmother who turned 80 yrs. old this year has been a very robust woman up until a couple of months ago. she started having severe backpains and was taken to several doctors for different treatment including what they explained as epidurals to help relieve her back pain.  about three weeks ago she was admitted into the hospital becuase she started talking funny and they were worrired dhe might have dimensia or suffered a minor stroke. after running several ct's, mri's etc. her doctors concluded she had neither of these. about a week and a half in to her hospital stay they checked her blood work for carbon dioxide poisoning. she was severely poisoned with carbon d. and the doctor believes it had been a slow poisoning from her shallow breathing over several months due to her back pain. they put her on the respirator for a couple of days to clean her system out and then placed her on oxygen. she seemed to be improving and then coded. they put her on the respirator again and ran another mri. they say her diaphragm is not working at all now. they are planning on taking her off the respirator soon and i was wondering if any one had ever heard of this diagnosis. her doctors say there is nothing left to be done except take her off and let her die in peace. please, if anyone knows of anything that could help, i would appreciate the input.


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Hi,

Diaphragm is a respiratory muscle that is innervated by the Phrenic nerve. This muscle is the major muscle involved in respiration by expanding the rib cage.

Is your grandmother having one sided or both sided muscle paralysis. Bilateral paralysis is more serious leading to symptoms such as ventilatory failure. It can be caused be by : congenital muscular (eg, muscular dystrophy) or neurologic (eg, Arnold-Chiari malformation and syringomyelia) disorders; various degenerative (eg, multiple sclerosis) and viral (eg, herpetic) diseases; traumatic involvement of the phrenic nerves (surgical section or thermal injury); tumors of the phrenic nerves and idiopathic causes  

Treatment usually includes: treatment of the underlying disease, ventilatory support, diaphragmatic pacing etc.

Prognosis usually depends upon the severity, underlying disease, and the general medical condition of the patient.

Regards

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selmaS
Allentown, PA