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A Journal on Diseases of the Respiratory System

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Thoracic Endoscopy
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index




Minerva Pneumologica 2004 September;43(3):165-76

language: English

Physiotherapy in the critical care area

Clini E., Ambrosino N.


Physiotherapy is an integral part of the management of patients in Intensive Care Units (ICUs). The most important aim of rehabilitation in ICUs is to enhance the patient's functional capacity and to restore his/her independence, thus decreasing the risks of bed-laying associated complications. This article is a review of evidence of physiotherapy effectiveness in patients in the critical care areas with a description of the individual techniques and their rationale. Literature searches were performed using general and specialty data-bases with appropriate subject headings and keywords, including physical therapy, intensive care, rehabilitation, bronchial drainage, breathing exercises, and muscle (re)training; the search of any ICU strategy dealing with the process of weaning from mechanical ventilation was not considered in the present review. The growing number of patients treated in intensive care areas all over the world makes this rehabilitation therapy welcomed and interesting to be applied to these patients. To date recommendations concerning the evidence-based practice for physiotherapy in the critical area are still limited because of the lack of definitive data evaluating each technique's effectiveness and/or impact on the long-term outcomes.

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