Breathe Well CoughAssist™ Short Term Loan Program

Muscular Dystrophy Queensland (MDQ) has been delighted to offer a short term rental program of cough assist machines, to assist our clients’ recovery from acute respiratory infections. This program was initially funded through MDQ’s fundraising resources. In 2017, Queensland Health provided a small grant, enabling MDQ to offer expand the program to other people who may need it.  The current funding ends at end of June 2019 and MDQ has submitted a formal request for its extension.

Watch this discussion about the CoughAssist machine in use, by world renowned physiotherapist and neuromuscular specialist Dr. Michel Toussaint, PhD., and a family living with Duchenne MD in France.

Your questions answered …

What is a cough assist machine and why might I need it?

For people with weak breathing muscles, a cough assist machine simulates a natural cough and assists the person to clear secretions, including infected secretions.  It is one of the respiratory machines which promotes the health and well-being of members of our community with compromised breathing muscles.

The cough assist machine clears secretions by applying positive air pressure to the airway and then rapidly shifting to negative air pressure.  The resulting high expiratory flow simulates a deep, natural cough.

Who can borrow a cough assist machine?

MDQ’s Breathe Well cough assist loan program is available to Queensland residents living with muscular dystrophy and similar conditions.  If the person is not a client of MDQ at time of enquiry, we simply ask that they complete an MDQ client registration and consent form.

I live with a condition that is similar to muscular dystrophy. Am I eligible for the program?

Similar conditions principally include neuromuscular conditions and in addition, any diagnosis where muscle weakness and muscle wasting are features.  Examples include but are not limited to Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Charcot Marie Tooth, myopathies, Multiple Sclerosis, Motor Neurone Disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Myasthenia Gravis, Inflammatory muscle diseases and Guillain Barre Syndrome. Please discuss your needs with us, if you feel you would benefit from the Breathe Well Cough Assist Program.

Are there limits to the loans?

This program offers Cough Assist machines only on short term loan. Each machine is initially placed for a single month. Where required, renewals are available for up to a maximum of three months.

Loans are distributed on the basis of need i.e.  MDQ is able to assign cough assist machines quickly in times of acute need.   One or more of the following needs will be identified:

  1. The borrower has contracted an acute respiratory infection
  2. The Cough Assist machine will enable a person to be discharged from hospital
  3. This short term loan will bridge a gap when a person is trying to source funds to purchase a machine

If requests for Cough Assist machines exceed available funding, MDQ may prioritise based on:

  1. Previous loan history
  2. Existing MDQ client.

What is included in the loan?

Philips Sleepeasy is the supplier to the loan program and the loan includes:

  • The machine (which can be transported to most locations in Queensland)
  • The first set of consumables.  (Unfortunately at this stage, MDQ cannot fund ongoing consumables.)
  • Education in the use of the machine

It is important for the borrower to continue to liaise with Philips Sleepeasy regarding additional consumables and extra circuits which may be needed and available.

What is the borrowing process?

  1. The borrower (or another person) calls MDQ to make enquiries about the availability of the loan and MDQ assesses capacity to make the loan
  2. The borrower completes or obtains the following:
    • Completes MDQ Cough Assist program registration and consent forms.  (If the person is already an MDQ client, this step is not necessary)
    • Completes a signed MDQ Loan Agreement form
    • Obtains and submits to MDQ, a referral form from a registered physiotherapist or physician, listing prescribed pressures/machine settings.(Forms can be obtained from us. Make an enquiry about the CoughAssist program today.)
  3. It is only when MDQ has these forms that the loan can be activated.

Borrower responsibilities

The borrower is responsible for

  1. Taking care of the machine during the loan period
  2. Letting Philips Sleepeasy know at the end of each month, whether the loan is required for the next month
  3. Releasing the machine at the end of the loan period. If the borrower refuses to return the machine and/or keeps it longer than the agreed period without written pre-approval from MDQ, that borrower is responsible for ongoing rental payments.  The debt incurred is between Philips Sleepeasy and the borrower.

MDQ would like to gather evidence about the need for our program as funding is short term.  We would also be grateful if the borrower would complete the evaluation form at the end of the loan.

Points to note

  • Availability of loans is dependent upon funds available.  Unfortunately, loans will be temporarily suspended if we run out of funds dedicated to the program
  • It is important to obtain surveillance of respiratory function from your respiratory physician or other appropriately qualified health professional
  • MDQ merely funds the loan.  The borrowing relationship is between Philips and the borrower
  • MDQ  can advise on sources of charitable funding for the purchase of cough assist machine
  • MDQ  has structured this program in good faith and takes no responsibility for issues that may arise as a result of using the program

 Enquiries to Muscular Dystrophy Queensland