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When rehabilitative treatments are properly applied for respiratory diseases, just as in any other medical fields, they can improve patients' capabilities required for normal daily life through alleviating the symptoms in advance and preventing complications. However, pulmonary rehabilitation treatments, other than very basic treatments, are not frequently used. There are many treatments requiring expensive equipment or complicated technologies, but there are definitely some ways that assist patients with a simple device or method. However, in a real clinical setting. The saddest fact is that patients with neuromuscular diseases, including the ones with a muscular dystrophies or spinal muscular atrophy, often fail to receive appropriate treatment as these diseases are misunderstood as untreatable. The death rate from complications related to the diseases can be significantly decreased once patients are able to completely understand the pathophysiology of the respiratory system, receive a proper patient evaluation, manage the disease based on the evaluation results and efficiently remove intra-airway secretion. Also, the patient's quality of life can be greatly improved since a ventilator can be used by many patients noninvasively, even when the use of a ventilator is required for a long period of time. In other words, patients cannot only prolong their lives, but also lead to an improved life through the use of a ventilator considering the characteristics of neuromuscular diseases and management of the respiratory system.
Clinical Experience – A unique Rehabilitation Institute of Neuromuscular Diseases is operated at Gangnam Severance Hospital where pulmonary rehabilitation is provided to many patients suffering from neuromuscular diseases and spinal cord injuries, domestic as well as worldwide. We are playing a leading role in pulmonary rehabilitation such as helding pulmonary rehabilitation workshops, neuromuscular disease symposiums and educational courses for foreign doctors, annually. Our center has the most experience in management of respiratory failure in patients with neuromuscular diseases or spinal cord injuries, especially in management of such conditions by non-invasive ventilatory support without intubation or tracheostomy procedures.