Children in Western Kentucky with spasticity related to cerebral palsy; brain or spinal cord injuries; or stroke or other ongoing functional mobility deficits can now have their rehab needs addressed closer to home.
Children in Western Kentucky with spasticity related to cerebral palsy; brain or spinal cord injuries; or stroke or other ongoing functional mobility deficits can now have their rehabilitation needs addressed closer to home.
On the fourth Friday every other month, Katy M. Breeden, APRN, is in Paducah, Kentucky, to manage patients’ bracing, therapies and medication needs as well as intrathecal baclofen (ITB) pump care. Katy is a nurse practitioner with Norton Children’s Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine.
“We started the Paducah clinic to help those kids who aren’t in the immediate Louisville area. Now families don’t have to drive three or four hours to Louisville to get their needs met,” Katy said.
According to Katy the clinic draws patients from surrounding states, including Tennessee, as Norton Children’s Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation provides more services than some states have available.
The ITB pump is ideal for children whose spasticity issues are severe enough that oral medications aren’t enough to control it.
“Getting a pump often helps promote their independence and makes them more comfortable,” Katy said. “It helps kids a lot.”
After a neurosurgeon puts the ITB pump in, Katy and others with Norton Children’s Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation manage the dosing, refill the pump and troubleshoot any issues with the pump.
About the size of a hockey puck, the ITB pump is placed in the abdomen and sends the muscle relaxant baclofen medication directly to the intrathecal space. This reduces the chances of side effects, because the medication can be given in a lower dose.
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Originally from Paducah, Katy was inspired to become a nurse after spending time in the hospital with a younger sister who was being treated for leukemia as a child. Katy’s sister, Megan Thompson, also went into health care. She’s now a nursing aide.
“It was the nurses who were in there all day making sure she had what she needed,” Katy says. “Being a patient advocate is a big part of nursing for me.”
Katy graduated from the University of Louisville School of Nursing for her nursing and nurse practitioner degrees. She’s always worked in pediatric rehab and had experience seeing patients in Louisville before joining Norton Children’s.
Katy chose rehab because she gets to work with patients over the long term and develop relationships.
“With rehab, you get to see patients get better,” Katy said. “When they go home, you make sure they are prepared and confident — being their best selves.”
In Paducah, the Norton Children’s Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation clinic is located at Norton Children’s Outpatient Center – Paducah, 2605 Kentucky Avenue, Building 3, Suite 102. Katy also practices in Louisville at the Norton Children’s Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation clinic at the Novak Center for Children’s Health, Suite 200, 411 E. Chestnut St.
“We try and promote function and quality of life. If you have patients who haven’t optimized their function, that sounds like an appropriate patient to see us,” Katy said.