INTRODUCTION: Children with neuromuscular diseases develop cough impairment. Airway clearance techniques (ACTs) may help to prevent recurrent respiratory tract infections (RTIs). A commonly used ACT is mechanical insufflation-exsufflation (MI-E), but evidence for efficacy is limited. We hypothesize that MI-E has beneficial effect on RTI related hospital admission rate.
METHODS: In this single-center retrospective study, we reviewed all children who used daily MI-E between 2005 till June 2019. Primary outcome studied was the number of RTIs requiring hospital admission. Patient satisfaction and burden experienced by MI-E use were explored by questionnaires using a Likert scale. The relative number of RTIs requiring admission and the number of admission days per eligible period before and after the introduction of MI-E were compared using the Friedman test and the Wilcoxon signed-rank test.
RESULTS: Thirty-seven children were included. The median number of RTI related hospital admissions per 1000 eligible days after the introduction of MI-E was 0.9 (interquartile range [IQR] 0.0-3.1) compared to the 3 preceding years (median 3.7; IQR 1.4-5.9; P = .006). The median number of RTI related admission days per 1000 eligible days after the introduction of MI-E was significantly lower with a median of 2.7 (IQR 0.0-17.4) compared to the 3 preceding years (median 33.6; IQR 15.0-51.1; P = .001). Patient satisfaction was high with low burden, even in patients who discontinued treatment.
CONCLUSION: A significantly lower number of RTIs requiring hospital admission and shorter admission duration after the introduction of MI-E was found, with high patient satisfaction and low burden.