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Monograph: Respiratory considerations in patients with neuromuscular disorders
Monograph: Respiratory considerations in patients with neuromuscular disorders
Patients with neuromuscular disorders (NMDs) develop respiratory impairment as muscles weaken. Ensuing complications include reductions in lung volume, compliance, and cough ability and increased risk for lung infections. Sleep disordered breathing results from weakened upper airway muscles and/or impaired central ventilatory control systems. Evaluation includes measurement of seated and supine vital capacity (VC) and respiratory muscle strength. Assisted cough techniques facilitate airway clearance. The decision to initiate assisted ventilation is multifactorial, and may include consideration of patient symptoms, spirometry, pulmonary pressures, sleep studies or blood gas values.
Most patients prefer noninvasive ventilation to enhance mobility and independence. Tracheostomy is indicated when bulbar function is impaired and cough assist measures fail to clear the airway. Technological advances in respiratory support have improved quality of life and longevity. Home care is the best option for most patients but remains a challenge, especially for caregivers with regard to physical, emotional, and financial
implications, as well as social, administrative, and insurance concerns.

Objectives: The objectives of this activity are to: 1) Understand the mechanisms of respiratory compromise in patients with neuromuscular disorders so as to be able to anticipate and optimally manage them; 2) Be able to evaluate patients with neuromuscular respiratory impairment; 3) Understand and be able to apply the principles for respiratory management in patients with neuromuscular disorders. 

The AANEM is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

None of the authors has any conflict of interest to disclose. 

The AANEM designates this enduring material for a maximum of 2.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits TM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Credit expires 3/1/2026.
Nina Patel, BS; Ileana M. Howard MD;  Ahmet Baydur MD
Availability: On-Demand
Expires on Mar 01, 2026
Cost: Member: $0.00
Non-Member: $15.00
Credit Offered:
2 CME Credits
2 CEU Credits
2621 Superior Drive NW Rochester, MN 55901
Phone: 507.288.0100
Fax: 507.288.1225
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