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“I was able to regain mobility in my affected hand and arm and eventually regain full function”

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014


Annamaria Baraglia

My stroke occurred August 27, 2008. I was alone in my new apartment. No one knew my address yet because I had just moved a few weeks before. I stayed home from work and slept all day because of a splitting headache that had begun the day before. I got up from my bed briefly, and as I tried to return, I collapsed. I couldn’t stand up or move the left side of my body. I did an “army crawl” to my bedroom to get my cell phone. I got the cell phone, but could not decipher anything on it. I texted a friend to call an ambulance, thank goodness for autocorrect, because I couldn’t remember how to spell. That friend was able to get my mother on the phone and since my mother knew my address, she was able to rush over from work. She climbed a very tall gate to get access to my back door, which she broke down with her hip. She knew something was wrong because I wasn’t answering my doorbell. As I sat there on the floor, I remember hearing the doorbell and trying to call out for help, but no words came out and I couldn’t get up. She found me on the floor. I remember smacks in my face, “Anna get up.” Then the very next thing I remember is waking up in the ICU from a coma being told that I had a stroke days later.

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Stroke, Not so Old…

Shannon Scott, OTR/L
Thursday, December 19th, 2013


Social Issue

According to the American Heart Association (AHA, 2013) stroke can occur at any age however recent studies indicate that over the past 15 years there has been an increase in the incidence of ischemic stroke occurring in young adults (George, Tong, Kuklina, & Labarthe, 2011). Risks associated with increased obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and tobacco and alcohol use have been proposed factors contributing to this rise (George et al., 2011). With increased rates of survival, younger individuals are living longer with disability and the direct and indirect costs associated with healthcare and lost productivity can be significant (George et al., 2011; Wolf, Baum, & Connor, 2009). According to AHA (2013), loss of earnings is projected to be the highest costs associated with stroke.

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Bridging the Gap to Evidence Based Neurorehabilitation Practice

Shannon Scott, OTR/L
Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013


The term “evidence based practice” is now ingrained in our clinical knowledge and discussions though there still remains a gap between knowledge and actual implementation of evidence based interventions.  Much research has been done on why this gap persists in order to find methods of bridging this gap. I recently read an article by Fleming-Castaldy & Gillen (2013) in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy that discussed some of these issues. As Director of Clinical Services at Saebo Inc, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of satisfaction when reading this article as it fully validates that Saebo is providing current and evidence based education and products. I will provide a summary here but strongly advocate that clinicians working in neurorehabilitation should read this article.

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“I am not sure how we managed treating proximal weakness without the SaeboMAS in the past”

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013


Kristi McKamey

The SaeboMAS helped facilitate my stroke patient with poor proximal strength and shoulder pain to utilize the emerging functional use of his hand. The patient was able to complete high repetitions of reaching and grasping without any of the typical complaints of discomfort. It also encouraged him to work on lower extremity balance and promoted functional standing. The SaeboMAS was simple to set up and it was easy to adjust. I am not sure how we managed treating proximal weakness without it in the past!

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How Effective is Botox in Improving UE Function?

Shannon Scott, OTR/L
Monday, July 22nd, 2013


Muscle spasticity is a negative symptom which can occur following a central nervous system disorder (Kinnear, 2012). The use of Botulinum Toxin Type A (BTX-A), commonly referred to as Botox, is used extensively in the treatment of muscle spasticity following stroke and other neurological conditions. Following BTX-A injections, physical and occupational therapy are typically provided and include stretching, casting, splinting, strengthening, and functional movement retraining (Kinnear, 2012).

Having provided the above types of occupational therapy interventions with numerous individuals who have received Botox injections to the UE, I have formulated my own opinions as to the functional benefits of Botox injections in the UE.  I recently did a literature review to find out what the research reports.

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Good News; Healthcare Reform and Changes in Medicare

Shannon Scott, OTR/L
Thursday, June 6th, 2013


As clinicians, our ability to provide therapy services to clients is influenced by federal laws and regulations, administrative laws from agencies, and sometimes case law. It becomes challenging to keep track of all the changes that occur in the laws, rules, and regulations that impact our practice. More often, we are aware of changes that negatively impact our ability to provide comprehensive and medically necessary skilled services to achieve optimum client outcomes, such as therapy caps. We are also aware of changes in regulations that impact what we document and the way we document.

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“Saebo products are my favorite tool when working with patients who have had a stroke”

Saebo
Sunday, April 28th, 2013


I love that Saebo products use the principles of neuroplasticity to provide concrete mass practice exercises that increase patient compliance with an affected extremity.

The SaeboMAS is the product I have used the most. The MAS supports the weight of an affected arm and allows the patient to use volitional movement for NMR. That way, the therapist does not have to provide support for the arm or follow the patient while they are relearning movement; instead, the MAS allows the patient to gain independence and perform movements on their own. I love that the SaeboMAS is essentially another set of hands for patients to get extra time working on movement. I see more consistent progress with functional arm movement using the MAS because you can use it with functional tasks such as feeding and grooming tasks.

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Is What You’re Doing Working? How Do You Know?

Shannon Scott, OTR/L
Thursday, April 25th, 2013


As many of you are already aware, those billing to Medicare for therapy coverage now have to report functional outcome data for clients in the form of new non-payable G codes. The G codes are designed to capture the primary issue for which therapy is being provided for. This includes issues such as mobility, changing/maintaining body position, carrying/moving/handling objects, and self-care to name a few. G codes are accompanied by modifiers which indicate the client’s area of limitation and are designed to help track functional changes over time which subsequently results in payment information. These codes are required to not only to be included in the claim to Medicare but also in the client’s medical record with an indication of what tools and outcome measures were used to assess functional outcome. Reporting started in January for a trial 6 month period and beginning July 1/13 claims will not be accepted without the required functional data.

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April is OT Month! Saebo Supports the AOTA Centennial Vision.

Shannon Scott, OTR/L
Monday, April 8th, 2013


The AOTA Centennial Vision

In celebration of April being OT month, it seems appropriate to discuss AOTA’s Centennial Vision (CV) for the profession. Many will already be familiar with the CV, but there are many that likely are not.

In 2006, The American Occupational Therapy Association established the Centennial Vision as a “strategic plan” (AOTA, 2006, p.1) for the profession as it approaches its 100th anniversary in 2017. It was established to provide strategies for occupational therapists at all levels of service, to enable the profession to remain “viable and contemporary” (Baum, 2006, p. 610) in light of changes in society, health care, and technology.

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New Acronyms in the Neurorehabilitation Literature; What Do They Mean?

Shannon Scott, OTR/L
Monday, March 11th, 2013


For those working in upper extremity (UE) neurorehabilitation, the acronyms CIMT (constraint induced movement therapy) and mCIMT (modified constraint induced movement therapy) are now very familiar.

CIMT is an intervention approach which involves restraint of the non-involved UE for 90% of waking hours over a two week period, to include weekends, with repetitive training of the involved UE using shaping principles for 6 hours per day on the weekdays (Kunkel, Kopp, Muller, Villringer, Villringer, Taub, & Flor, 1999).

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Co-Founder and Author of Exoskeleton Report, Bobby Marinov, wrote an amazing article about Saebo! Great read, make... https://t.co/5WGb6X5BEP