1. Pan, Caixue BS
  2. Chen, Yao PhD
  3. Zhou, Yongfang MM


BACKGROUND: Cervical spinal cord injury can greatly affect pulmonary function, resulting in complications, including respiratory failure with prolonged mechanical ventilation, ultimately leading to increased mortality and high health care costs. Weaning from mechanical ventilation is particularly challenging in patients with complete high spinal cord injury.


CASE PRESENTATION: We present the case of a 42-year-old man who suffered a complete cervical 5-6 spinal cord injury following a rollover motor vehicle crash and subsequently developed postoperative pneumonia and severe hypoxemic respiratory failure. He received a novel approach to fast-track respiratory care, including early and aggressive secretion clearance management, moderate pressure level of airway pressure release ventilation, timely transition to spontaneous mode, early tracheostomy and humane care, and high-flow oxygenation via tracheotomy after weaning off the ventilator. As a result, the patient experienced significant improvement in pulmonary function and was successfully liberated from the ventilator within a 2-week period.


CONCLUSION: This case highlights the potential effectiveness of fast-track respiratory care in promoting lung function restoration and expediting liberation from mechanical ventilation in patients with severe hypoxemic respiratory failure following a complete cervical spinal cord injury. However, further research is warranted to validate these findings and expand our understanding in this area.