Micro Medical Ltd, a part of the Viasys Healthcare Group, is a world market leader in the origination, design and manufacture of specialist devices for the diagnosis, management and rehabilitation of the respiratory muscles. Through our active policy of research and development our range of respiratory muscle products addresses respiratory muscles endurance, strength and training, incorporating the latest technology and innovations for the measurement and rehabilitation of the respiratory muscles.

Respiratory Muscles

The respiratory muscles drive ventilation, maintaining the inspiratory and expiratory cycles and thus sustaining the ability to breathe. The weakness of the respiratory muscles is a key feature of numerous diseases and conditions, including COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), cystic fibrosis, congestive heart disease, spinal cord injury and neuromusclar related diseases. Respiratory muscle weakness leads to respiratory pump failure, reducing the operational lung volume of the patient and resulting in breathlessness, disability, mechanical ventilation and finally mortality. The measurement and management of the respiratory muscle parameters is a vital clinical ingredient to the evaluation of a patients' respiratory function.

Respiratory Muscle Awareness

The importance of the respiratory muscles has long been documented. The original standards for the measurement of respiratory muscle strength were published by Black and Hyatt in the 1960's. In addition, predicted values have been published from several sources, throughout the 1980's and 1990's, providing guidance to the interpretation of the major strength measurements of PImax (Maximal Inspiratory Pressure), PEmax (Maximal Expiratory Pressure) and SNIP (Sniff Nasal Inspiratory Pressure).

Key developments relating to the recognition by WHO (World Health Organization) of COPD as the 4th leading cause of mortality worldwide have further enhanced the awareness of respiratory muscles in recent years. This international initiative has centred resources and education upon the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of COPD, with treatment emphasising the maintenance of the patient's Quality of Life through pulmonary rehabilitation. As the driving force behind ventilation and the ability to breathe, the health of the respiratory muscles are integral to the patients' Quality of Life, and an essential component of a pulmonary rehabilitation programme.

The publication of international guidelines on the respiratory muscles, such as the ATS/ERS Joint Statement on Respiratory Muscle Testing 2002 and the ERS Monograph 2005 'Respiratory Muscle Assessment', alongside the progress of international initiatives such as GOLD (Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease), have also emphasised the importance of the diagnosis, management and rehabilitation of the respiratory muscles. In addition, the number of publications, posters and conference hours devoted to respiratory muscle topics, across a variety of subjects such as COPD Exacerbation, Clinical Assessment, Physiotherapy, Pulmonary Rehabilitation, Neuromuscular Disease, Surgical Screening and Physiology, has continued to increase year upon year at both an international and national level.

Micro Medical in Respiratory Muscles

Micro Medical's involvement in the field of respiratory muscle measurement was established in 1993 with the development and manufacture of the MicroMPM (Mouth Pressure Meter), measuring the respiratory strength parameters of PImax (MIP) and PEmax (MEP). In 2002, the measurement of SNIP was added to the functionality of the device, in addition to PC connectivity through the unique PUMA PC Software. The MicroRPM (Respiratory Pressure Meter), as seen today, is the result of this evolution; a unique and economic handheld device for the measurement of respiratory muscle strength.

In 2005 Micro Medical launched the MicroRMA (Respiratory Muscle Analyser) to measure and manage respiratory muscle endurance, the key to sustained, unaided breathing. The MicroRMA employs innovative technology to control and load Constant Resistance, increasing the workload of the respiratory muscles across the whole breath whilst maintaining natural breathing patterns. In addition, the MicroRMA has the ability to measure respiratory muscle strengths at user defined volumes.

In 2007 the MicroMuscleTrainer was released for use in pulmonary rehabilitation, training the respiratory muscles in a natural way by employing the Constant Resistance principles of the MicroRMA.

The establishment of this Respiratory Muscle website is a further commitment by Micro Medical to provide the resources, from high quality specialist devices for the diagnosis, managment and rehabilitation of this important muscle group, to addressing the educational and support issues, relating to the measurement and treatment of respiratory muscles.