Effect of continuous lateral rotational therapy on lung mucus transport in mechanically ventilated patients
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PURPOSE: Continuous lateral rotational therapy (CLRT) <40 degrees is a method of altering the position of the ventilated patient to help clear secretions from the lung. CLRT has not been shown to reduce the incidence of atelectasis or pneumonia but potentially offers a way to maximize positional drainage in these patients without producing adverse effects. Treatment intervention, bracketed by two (nonrotational) control periods. The purpose of this study was to determine if CLRT alters mucus transport in critically ill, intubated patients in the intensive care unit of a teaching hospital. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirteen critically ill, but stable, mechanically ventilated patients, mean age 74 years, were enrolled. They were placed supine on a Biodyne bed (KCI, San Antonio, Texas) and pressures in the cushions adjusted to patient's weight. A radiolabeled aerosol was delivered by bagging for 2 to 3 minutes and repeated measurements of lung radioactivity were obtained by imaging of the thorax over the following 3 hours. A 90-minute period of rotation of the bed, 30 degrees to either side was preceded and followed by two 45-minute control periods during which the patient remained supine and stationary on the bed. Coughs and suctions were recorded and blood gases obtained pre and post study. RESULTS: (1) The mucous clearance was slower than that reported in normal subjects and in ambulatory patients with COPD; (2) there was a slight, but not significant, increase in clearance during CLRT; (3) clearance reverted to pre-oscillation levels following therapy. Lack of significant effect may be attributed to too shallow an angle for rotation or too short an intervention period. CONCLUSION: Positional drainage effected by short duration CLRT did not appear to stimulate significant mucous removal from the lung in critically ill patients but also did not cause any adverse effects.
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