Presenting the latest offerings together in one place, the digital Durable Medical Equipment Guide (DME) is meant to reduce frustration by helping caregivers make informed decisions without hours and hours of research. The resource will be regularly updated so that information is current.
“With a commitment to supporting the Duchenne community with best practices in care until a cure is found, we are thrilled to offer the online DME Guide to families,” said Debra Miller, CureDuchenne founder and CEO, in a press release.
“While parents and caregivers are determined to find the right equipment that will help keep their loved ones active in any way possible, we are determined to help them make the best decisions by providing them with all the resources they need in one place,” Miller added.
In DMD, symptoms typically begin to appear between ages 1 and 6, and muscle strength and function gradually decline over time.
Symptoms in toddlers usually start with muscle weakness in the shoulders, hips and pelvic areas. As the disorder develops, other muscles, including those in the arms, legs and trunk, begin to show damage, and patients gradually lose the ability to walk.
Mobility equipment can help those living with Duchenne continue to participate in daily life and be as independent as possible.
The guide is divided into easily navigable sections, including mobility devices such as scooters, vehicle conversions, adaptive strollers, seating systems and the like; orthoses, which has resting hand splints, ankle foot orthoses, and upper extremity assist products; home equipment, with products such as hospital beds, gait belts and adapted toilet systems; and respiratory devices, which offers information on non-invasive ventilation, one-way valve, cough assist, vibration vests and other items.
Each equipment category includes a product overview; information regarding the most appropriate stage for use, and when to use and when to avoid using; key product features; tips; and information on manufacturers that consumers may order.
Complete with photos, the website also offers CureDuchenne-produced videos, educational links such as a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention caregiving article, and downloadable information about equipment and usage, including a safety guide for patient lifts.
According to the non-profit CureDuchenne, some 300,000 boys globally are living with the degenerative disease. The most common type of muscular dystrophy, DMD is estimated to occur in 1 in every 3,500 male births.