When a patient has a spinal cord injury, depending on the level of injury, breathing can become the most important issue they and their family are facing. When a patient has limited use of their diaphragm, respiratory therapists assist through ventilator management or coughing assistance. Respiratory therapists keep the patient breathing and get them breathing on their own before physical recovery can begin.
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Kelley Taylor has been a respiratory therapist for 17 years, the past nine at Shepherd Center. Her respiratory therapy team frequently provides some of the most urgent initial care to patients.
Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Ga., is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury or brain injury. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation and is a 152-bed facility. Last year Shepherd Center had 965 admissions to its inpatient programs and 571 to its day patient programs. In addition, Shepherd Center sees more than 6,600 people annually on an outpatient basis. For more information, visit Shepherd Center online at www.shepherd.org