According to Cure SMA, there are several areas of care that need to be taken into consideration when looking after a child with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) when they have a cold.
These areas include:
Evaluating mucus buildup and secretion mobilization
When children with SMA have a cold, they often have difficulty clearing excess mucus from their lungs. There are steps you can take to help your child, which should be done every four hours and as often as needed.
The steps are as follows:
- Airway secretion mobilization: Airway clearance can be performed manually with your hands or palm cups or you can use an electric percussor or a vibrating vest. Each session should be performed for between 10 and 20 minutes.
- Cough machine: Four sets of five breaths will loosen mucus, which can then be suctioned from the child’s mouth.
- Postural drainage: Positioning the child so that their head and chest is lower than their buttocks will help excess mucus to drain. They will need to remain in position for around 15 to 30 minutes. You can support the child with cushions or pillows to make them comfortable.
- Repeat cough machine: Perform another four sets of five breaths, and suctioning the mucus from the child’s mouth.