Energy cost of propulsion in standard and ultralight wheelchairs in people with spinal cord injuries.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Wheelchair- and subject-related factors influence the efficiency of wheelchair propulsion. The purpose of this study was to compare wheelchair propulsion in ultralight and standard wheelchairs in people with different levels of spinal cord injury. SUBJECTS: Seventy-four subjects (mean age=26.2 years, SD=7.14, range=17-50) with spinal cord injury resulting in motor loss (30 with tetraplegia and 44 with paraplegia) were studied. METHOD: Each subject propelled standard and ultralight wheelchairs around an outdoor track at self-selected speeds, while data were collected at 4 predetermined intervals. Speed, distance traveled, and oxygen cost (VO2 mL/kg/m) were compared by wheelchair, group, and over time, using a Bonferroni correction. RESULTS: In the ultralight wheelchair, speed and distance traveled were greater for both subjects with paraplegia and subjects with tetraplegia, whereas VO2 was less only for subjects with paraplegia. Subjects with paraplegia propelled faster and farther than did subjects with tetraplegia. CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSION: The ultralight wheelchair improved the efficiency of propulsion in the tested subjects. Subjects with tetraplegia, especially at the C6 level, are limited in their ability to propel a wheelchair. (+info)
Bethlem myopathy: a slowly progressive congenital muscular dystrophy with contractures.
Bethlem myopathy is an early-onset benign autosomal dominant myopathy with contractures caused by mutations in collagen type VI genes. It has been reported that onset occurs in early childhood. We investigated the natural course of Bethlem myopathy in five previously published kindreds and two novel pedigrees, with particular attention to the mode of onset in 23 children and the progression of weakness in 36 adult patients. Our analysis shows that nearly all children exhibit weakness or contractures during the first 2 years of life. Early features include diminished foetal movements, neonatal hypotonia and congenital contractures which are of a dynamic nature during childhood. The course of Bethlem myopathy in adult patients is less benign than previously thought. Due to slow but ongoing progression, more than two-thirds of patients over 50 years of age use a wheelchair. (+info)
The effect of walking aids on exercise capacity and oxygenation in elderly patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
BACKGROUND: high walking frames may improve exercise capacity in young patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We have assessed the effect of Zimmer, rollator and gutter frames on 6-min walking distance and on arterial oxygenation during exercise in elderly patients with COPD. METHODS: 27 out-patients (15 men) aged 70-82 (mean 75) years were recruited. Exclusions comprised: COPD exacerbation or oral steroid use within 6 weeks, confusional state, participation in a pulmonary rehabilitation programme and exercise limitation by other diseases. Subjects completed 6-min walk tests unaided and with the three frames on four separate days in random order 30 min after nebulized salbutamol (5 mg) and ipratropium (0.5 mg) and were accompanied by an investigator blinded to results of all other walk tests undertaken. Oxygen saturation (SaO2) was monitored by finger probe during exercise. Grouped t-tests were used to compare distances and reductions in SaO2. RESULTS: Unaided, the mean (SEM) 6-min walk distance was 210 (16) m and fall in oxygen saturation was 6.0 (1.1)%. Use of a rollator frame did not significantly affect either of these values. Using the Zimmer frame reduced the mean distance to 165 (13) m (t=5.2, P < 0.001 vs unaided walk) with an SaO2 fall similar to that recorded during the unaided walk. Using the gutter frame increased the mean distance to 234 (150) m (t=3. 1, P=0.004 vs unaided walk) and reduced the fall in SaO2 to 3.7 (0.8)% (t=2.3, P=0.03 vs unaided walk). CONCLUSIONS: gutter frames improve exercise capacity and SaO2 during exercise in elderly COPD patients who remain symptomatic on optimal therapy, whereas unwheeled Zimmer frames have a deleterious effect in such patients. (+info)
Population based cost utility study of interferon beta-1b in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the cost utility of interferon beta-1b in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. DESIGN: Population based cost utility model (healthcare perspective). Data on use of health services were obtained from case records and routine morbidity data and utility values from a EuroQol survey. Local and published costs were used. Effectiveness was modelled using data on relative risk reductions from a randomised trial of interferon beta-1b. SETTING: Tayside region, 1993-5. SUBJECTS: 132 ambulatory people with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Cost per quality adjusted life year (QALY) gained. Rate of relapse and proportion becoming wheelchair dependent over three years. RESULTS: The number needed to treat for 30 months to delay time to wheelchair dependence in one person by nine months was 18 (95% confidence interval 5 to 26). For every 18 people treated for 30 months, six relapses would be prevented, gaining 0.397 discounted QALYs. The cost per QALY gained was 1 024 667 pounds sterling (276 466 pounds sterling to 485 499 pound sterling). If treatment was restricted to patients attending neurology services, the number needed to treat was 14 (cost per QALY gained 833 pounds sterling 514 (161 358 pounds sterling to infinity)). The cost per QALY gained was not sensitive to changes in cost which took account of a societal perspective. CONCLUSIONS: The cost per QALY gained from interferon beta is high because of the high drug cost and modest clinical effect. Resources could be used more efficiently elsewhere. (+info)
Sagittal static imbalance in myelomeningocele patients: improvement in sitting ability by partial and total gibbus resection.
The progression of kyphosis in myelomeningocele is independent of skeletal growth and requires early operative correction and stabilization to prevent a loss of sitting ability. In severe cases, only vertebrectomy makes it possible to achieve correction, stability and skin-closure without tension. In 14 patients with myelomeningocele gibbus, kyphectomy was performed, removing two vertebral bodies on average. The average kyphosis angle decreased from 128 degrees to 81 degrees, enabling most of the patients to participate again in social life by restoring wheelchair mobility. Nevertheless, a significantly higher complication rate was found compared to other correctional operations, lengthening the average hospital stay to 41 days. Special problems arose from trophic disorders of the skin and soft tissue and from the dystrophic muscles below the level of neural malfunction. In three cases, kyphosis reappeared cranial to the fused segments, requiring ventral stabilization. With respect to increasing kyphosis angle, an early intervention should be aimed at. A secondary operation can be necessary, if surgery is performed without taking care of the growth potential. (+info)
Seating and mobility considerations for people with spinal cord injury.
For people with spinal cord injuries, the selection of a wheelchair and seating system involves many factors. This clinical perspective describes a model that includes consideration of the person, the wheelchair, the immediate environment between the person and the wheelchair, the intermediate environment of the home and work, and the community environment. The seated posture is examined biomechanically, and literature is reviewed that highlights the differences in the seated position of people with spinal cord injuries and people without spinal cord injuries. Reports regarding overuse injuries of the shoulder and wrists are discussed along with methods of relieving pressure at the buttock and seat interface. The impact that research findings should have on current clinical practice and the need for more research to provide evidence to either support or change current practice is discussed. (+info)
Spina bifida children attending ordinary schools.
From September 1971 to September 1973 a policy was actively followed in South Gloucestershire of placing spina bifida children in ordinary schools wherever possible. This was achieved successfully in 14 cases out of a possible 24. Special attention was paid to the selection of children and schools. The main contraindications to attendance at ordinary school were: below average intelligence, special perceptual problems, the need for intensive physiotherapy, and problem incontinence-particularly infaecal continence. Success often depended on special provisions-for example, transport, aids to mobility, peripatetic physiotherapists. Personal attendants (welfare assistants) could be allocated to each of the more severely handicapped children. The lack of facilities for handicapped pupils in comprehensive schools is a matter needing urgent review. (+info)
Medical devices; effective date of requirement for premarket approval for three preamendment class III devices. Food and Drug Administration, HHS. Final rule.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is issuing a final rule to retain three class III preamendment devices in class III and to require the filing of a premarket approval application (PMA) or a notice of completion of a product development protocol (PDP) for the following devices: The lung water monitor, the powered vaginal muscle stimulator, and the stair-climbing wheelchair. The agency has summarized its findings regarding the degree of risk of illness or injury designed to be eliminated or reduced by requiring the devices to meet the statute's approval requirements and the benefits to the public from the use of the devices. (+info)