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Spinal neck surgery done, has heavy phlegm. Will phlegm cause impaired diaphragm response and sexual dysfunction?

My 31yr old nephew under went spinal nect surgery after an accident. After 11 days, the surgeon is very please with his movement in all limbs & anticipates recovery. He is still on a ventilator (he is getting a tract tomorrow), & he has a lot of phlegm , etc. He will also be having a feeding tube in his abdomen for the next three months. I am concerned that the phlegm could result in impaired diaphram response ( he is to some extent breathing on his own) & sexual dysfunction . What questions do I need to tell my sister to ask?
Asked On : Sun, 30 Sep 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  31
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Internal Medicine Specialist 's  Response
Dear friend, welcome to HCM!

A tracheostomy and gastrostomy feeding tube are inserted to facilitate prolonged ventilation.
Please ask the need for prolonged ventilation plan and if he has diaphragmatic paralysis.
At what level was the spine affected?
Has he got a pneumonia?

Sputum (Phlegm) can not cause sexual dysfunction and diapgragm weakness.

He must be on partial ventilator modes for respiratory insufficiency.
You could ask if ventilation is needed for infected lungs or for respiratory muscle dysfunction secondary to trauma.

Take care and please keep me informed of your progress.
Good Luck!
I hope to have answered your query satisfactorily.
Thank you!
Answered: Sun, 30 Sep 2012
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