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Respiratory Management in Spinal Cord Injury – Systematic Approaches for Physiotherapists


An online course that focusses on strengthening your understanding of respiratory insufficiency in spinal cord injury whilst sparking passion, clarity and confidence.

Module 1

– Foundations For Success

We welcome you into the course, explain the tech, help you to plan out your time and make sure you know how to get extra support if you need it.

Module 2

– Neurological Assessment

Learn about the common clinical syndromes in SCI and hone in on how to standardise your neurological assessment, accurately complete both sensory and motor components of an American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) assessment and interpret your findings. You will then have an opportunity to practice what you have learned by working through 4 case studies in your workbook.  Subsequently, we will take a deep dive into respiratory innervation and function, which is a commonly overlooked aspect of completing an ASIA assessment.

Module 3

– Respiratory Complications

Learn about all common respiratory complications encountered by SCI patients both acutely and subacutely. These include atelectasis, pneumonia, pleural effusions, haemopneumothoraces, pulmonary emboli, pulmonary contusions, acute pulmonary oedema and acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Module 4

– Assessing and Identifying Risk

Meet our case study Riley with T2 AIS B paraplegia and learn the important components to a comprehensive subjective and objective assessment. Then explore the literature around predicting respiratory risk in SCI.

Module 5

– Optimising Treatment Efficacy

Explore the respiratory aspects of the recently published SCI Clinical Practice Guidelines with a particular focus on 3 over-arching evidence-based treatment themes – improving lung volume, improving secretion clearance and inspiratory muscle strengthening.  You will come away from this module feeling more confident in the implementation of effective interventions for SCI patients living with respiratory compromise. Most importantly, you will be able to consistently identify the most effective intervention for your patient based on the prioritisation of their main problem and an overall context of their presentation.

Module 6

– Bringing it all Together

Hear from our case study Riley and have an opportunity to reflect on your past experiences, your challenges and most important learning moments so far as well as your future goals.

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