The machine was funded by the government and we are very grateful to have it. Without the cough-assist our daughter might still be alive but NOT without a tracheotomy (a tube placed through her neck into her lungs and attached to a ventilator 24/7). Not that I have ANYTHING against a trach. but for now Non-invasive ventilation and protocols are working very well for us. This secondary machine means that if something happens to one of Kaitlyn's cough-assists then we will ALWAYS have a back-up. Our children's hospital has only ONE cough-assist and NO plans to get another. The machine is so poorly understood!
We use Kaitlyn's cough-assist several times a day! Three times a day we do CPT (chest physiotherapy) followed by cough-assist. We also cough Kaitlyn before we place her on bi-pap. So that's 5 times a day we use the cough-assist on schedule. When she has increased secretions from a cold or flu, then we have to cough-her more often. I have had to cough Kaitlyn every few minutes for several hours in a row to help her get through a bad cold. When she is sick she is chained at the hip to this machine (so to speak). We also use the cough-assist anytime that Kaitlyn chokes on her own saliva, or throws a plug (this happens quite frequently).
The second cough-assist will also make our lives a lot easier as we can leave one machine always loaded on Kaitlyn's medical stroller/wheelchair. This will cut our packing to leave the house in half...maybe more!! The cough-assist barely fits on the stroller, it's a pretty tight squeeze. Loading and unloading the machine takes a lot of time.
This is a picture of Kaitlyn's cough-assist. It's a rather large machine (11.5 X 11 X 16.5 inches and weighing in at 24 lbs).
This is Kaitlyn's Medical Stroller/wheelchair. The cough-assist is the BIG grey box-like thing underneath Kaitlyn's seat towards the front of the stroller.
A well loaded down stroller. Cough-assist, inverter, gel cell battery, oximeter, bi-pap, DVD player, and feed pump. Suction we either carry or hang from the handle bars! (phew!)