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Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals

Kansas man hits the ground rollin’ with help of Vapotherm

October 16, 2017

Twayne Cutsinger used Vapotherm technology as he regained his ability to breathe on his own after a car crash left him with a spinal cord injury.

Madonna continues to raise the bar when it comes to caring for patients with tracheostomy or ventilator needs. In partnership with Vapotherm, this unique technology allows patients to breathe easier. For Kansan Twayne Cutsinger, “It’s changed my whole outlook.”

“Coming here, I was still kind of in my head a lot, thinking of all the bad things and not looking down the road that there’s the opportunity for positive things,” said Twayne.

Twayne sustained a spinal cord injury stemming from a car crash in early February 2017, affecting his ability to breathe on his own.

“When Twayne came to us he was on the ventilator 24/7. He had never been able to speak since his accident, very nervous, scared and just didn’t feel like his breathing was natural. But he had made enough progress that we knew he was ready to start coming off of the ventilator,” said Corrie Kistler, Twayne's respiratory therapist.

Within four days of coming to Madonna’s Lincoln Campus, Twayne’s care team weaned him off the ventilator and introduced him to Vapotherm.

“The first time we took him off of the ventilator and put him on the Vapotherm he was ready to go,” said Corrie.

“That vent coming off was the first ray of sunshine on me that was a big deal,” said Twayne. “The one thing I remember the most about it was really easy to breathe. It made it more comfortable to breathe, which I think led me to be able to get off the vent that much faster,” said Twayne.

Vapotherm allowed Twayne to breathe easier by mimicking his natural respiratory system through its heated humidification technology.

“When we started him on the Vapotherm and he could just breath naturally and normally, he was immediately so much more comfortable. He was so thrilled, so thankful to be off of the machine.”

“I would say the main advantage is just that natural breathing, being able to draw your own breath, your comfort level, also his ability to speak with the Vapotherm and clear his own secretions and be able to cough them up, that was big,” said Corrie.

 “If I would have been without the Vapotherm, I would probably been on [the ventilator] a lot longer,” said Twayne.

“It’s that initial post-traumatic I haven’t been able to speak in weeks, I haven’t been able to communicate, I have had machines breathing for me, I’ve been scared that I’m not ever going to come off of the machine. So liberating from that ventilator that first time that’s the best,” said Corrie.

Through this experience, Twayne is able to become more independent and continue to achieve goals he sets for himself.

“He had goals, he wanted to return to as high-level as function as he could and his attitude is just stupendous,” said Corrie.

“It’s changed my whole outlook a lot; I’m looking more towards getting as independent as I can so when I come home I can hit the ground rolling,” said Twayne.

Madonna received the Vapotherm Center of Excellence designation in 2017.  Click here to learn more.