Preventing diaphragm atrophy in patients under mechanical ventilation

Sofía Ferreira


    Sofía Ferreira


    Fundació Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron - Institut de Recerca (VHIR), Spain


    When patients with respiratory or other diseases are no longer able to breathe on their own, they are connected to mechanical ventilators. While mechanical ventilation saves many lives, it is also a highly invasive technique that can have serious consequences.

    One such complication, known as ventilator-induced diaphragm dysfunction (VIDD), develops because the diaphragm stops working and patients need to spend more time connected to the ventilator. As a result, they are more likely to suffer other complications that prolong their hospitalization and increase the associated costs.

    The researchers behind this project aim to bring to market “heecap”, a new device to prevent diaphragm dysfunction by applying electrical stimulation to keep the diaphragm active from the beginning of mechanical ventilation. They are currently working towards the clinical validation of this technology.