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Thread: Equipment needed for c1 injury.

  1. #1

    Equipment needed for c1 injury.

    My dad will soon be discharged from the hospital and going back to a nursing home and rehab. My question is, what medical equipment should we be requesting for his care? He is unable to visibly move from the neck down. The ventilator is the only equipment that he has. Should we be asking for prescriptions for certain things (i. e. - special bed, lift, etc.)?

  2. #2
    Is he getting rehab at an acute rehabilitation center that specialized in SCI rehab? A "nursing home rehab" is not appropriate. Will he be remaining in a nursing home forever, or are you planning to eventually move him into a home setting?

    For respiratory care:

    • 2 ventilators (one is a back-up). One should be mounted on his wheelchair, the other at bedside.
    • Cough Assist Machine
    • Vest or similar chest wall vibratory device
    • Portable suction machine (battery powered) for use when out of room or on outings in the community

    Other equipment:

    • Power wheelchair with power tilt-in-space and recline seat with controls he can drive, equipped for ventilator as well. Also should have a custom fit wheelchair cushion and back.
    • Manual wheelchair for back-up
    • Environmental control unit that can run TV, phone, bed controls, and nurse call
    • Appropriately fit shower commode chair with a well padded seat (ideally this should be a reclining or tilt-in-space as well)
    • Pressure reducing mattress (ideally a low air loss mattress)
    • Power floor based mechanical lift (although the nursing home should have one that he can use)

    None of this is cheap, and much will not be covered by standard insurance. You may have to fight to get a nursing home to let him use a power wheelchair as well. A SCI specialty rehabilitation program would also determine what his equipment needs are, order the custom fit equipment, and train him in how to use it.


  3. #3
    Thank you so much for this list.
    We had my dad in a long term acute rehab that only focused on trying to wean him from the ventilator...which proved unsuccessful. The nursing home is willing to work with us to access what he needs. We are still unable to get the SCI rehab in Atlanta to accept him because of his age (82). They do not feel he can mange an intensive rehab schedule. He is now almost six months post injury and has been cleared by neurology to get his neck collar removed. We just want to make sure that we ask for what he needs during this discharge. Our goal is for him to get to the highest level of independent functioning attainable with supports and that he is able to have the highest quality of life for his remaining time on earth. Our thought is a prescription for items will be a good first step.

  4. #4
    But you are not planning to take him home at any point?? His only option is to go to a nursing home? His equipment needs may be lower in a nursing home, but you will have to find a nursing home that will let him use the equipment there, allow him to keep it with him, and even knows how to use it. Most of this equipment needs to be custom made and set up...I would suspect the facility where he is now is totally out of their league in doing so (especially for the wheelchair needs). Can you try to get an outpatient evaluation at Shepherd Center specifically for equipment evaluation and recommendations??

    You can also look at the ASIA guide for DME needs in SCI. You can find it here:


  5. #5
    We would love to bring him home.
    My dad and mom live with my sister in a rented home, but landlord said she would be willing to change them to a home that is more conducive to accommodating his needs, if she can find one. My mom is disabled (uses a walker) and my sister's job involves out of town travel (for a few days at times). My brothers and myself live in other parts of the country. I have stated I am willing to relocate with my kids, but I would still need to work help my husband pay Louisiana bills (mortgage, etc.).
    We are told we need to provide 24 hour nursing care (at least two people). We continue to look into ways to bring him home.
    Thank you for the advice about outpatient evaluation. I will follow up on this. I will also look at the link provided, this time, with better trained eyes thanks to the list you provided.

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