Patients with SMA types 1 and 2 will experience breathing difficulties due to the weak muscles in their chest and abdomens. Most children with type 1 SMA will require breathing assistance through a ventilator and many will need a tracheostomy to help with breathing. Children with type 2 SMA may only need help during the night to regulate their breathing or if they get an infection. Those with types 3 and 4 usually don’t experience breathing difficulties, but some may suffer from sleep apnea and hypoventilation.
Children who have breathing difficulties will also have problems swallowing so will need to be fed directly into the stomach via a tube, and require a suction device to help them get rid of excess saliva.
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