Quadriplegic coughs with help of implanted electrodes

Monday, August 1st 2005, 10:08 am
By: News On 6

CLEVELAND (AP) _ Scientists in Cleveland have developed a way to let quadriplegics cough.

Quadriplegics are generally paralyzed from the neck down and the inability to cough makes them susceptible to respiratory infections like bronchitis and pneumonia. They also are not able to clear their throats of food or secretions without help from an attendant.

But now doctors have placed electrodes on a patient's lungs that, when activated, contract his abdominal muscles, causing them to generate a cough.

However, doctors say they are still working to determine how much current is needed to produce a strong cough.