Physiotherapy in mechanically ventilated patients: Why and how

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Journal Article
Clinical Pulmonary Medicine, 2013, 20 (6), pp. 292 - 299
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Critically ill and mechanically ventilated patients are at an increased risk of developing serious complications that are associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Common factors for pulmonary and neuromuscular sequelae during critical illness include endotracheal intubation, mechanical ventilation, systemic inflammation, and immobility. Moreover, the physiological impairment because of critical illness may be prevalent for a long time after discharge from the intensive care unit. Implementation of physiotherapy in critically ill patients, even at the very early stages of critical illnesses, has been demonstrated to be safe and feasible and to provide short-term physiological benefits. However, there is limited randomized-controlled trial evidence for physiotherapy to prevent and/or treat pulmonary and neuromuscular sequelae. The aim of this review is to present the recent literature on the role of physiotherapy in the critically ill and mechanically ventilated patients. Copyright © 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
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