WEDNESDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- The NeuRx DPS RA/4 Respiratory Stimulation System has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help paralysis patients breathe for at least four hours without a ventilator.
The implanted device uses four electrodes to stimulate the diaphragm, which contracts when a person breathes. People with paralysis stemming from severe spinal cord injuries can lose the ability to control this muscle, requiring full-time connection to a ventilator machine.
"While the NeuRx RA/4 does not cure paralysis of the diaphragm, allowing patients to be free from a mechanical ventilator for at least four hours a day may enhance their quality of life," Dr. Daniel Schultz, director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in a statement.
The device is manufactured by Synapse Biomedical of Cleveland, Ohio.
To learn more about the respiratory system, visit the American Medical Association.