Specific inspiratory muscle training is safe in selected patients who are ventilator-dependent: a case series

Bernie Bissett, I Anne Leditschke, Margot Green
Intensive & Critical Care Nursing: the Official Journal of the British Association of Critical Care Nurses 2012, 28 (2): 98-104

BACKGROUND: Mechanical ventilation of intensive care patients results in inspiratory muscle weakness. Inspiratory muscle training may be useful, but no studies have specifically described the physiological response to training.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS: Is inspiratory muscle training with a threshold device safe in selected ventilator-dependent patients? Does inspiratory muscle strength increase with high-intensity inspiratory muscle training in ventilator-dependent patients?

DESIGN: Prospective cohort study of 10 medically stable ventilator-dependent adult patients.

SETTING: Tertiary adult intensive care unit.

METHODS: Inspiratory muscle training 5-6 days per week with a threshold device attached to the tracheostomy without supplemental oxygen.

OUTCOME MEASURES: Physiological response to training (heart rate, mean arterial pressure, oxygen saturation and respiratory rate), adverse events, training pressures.

RESULTS: No adverse events were recorded in 195 sessions studied. For each patient's second training session, no significant changes in heart rate (Mean Difference 1.3 bpm, 95% CI -2.7 to 5.3), mean arterial pressure (Mean Difference -0.9 mmHg, 95% CI -6.4 to 4.6), respiratory rate (Mean Difference 1.2 bpm, 95% CI -1.1 to 3.5 bpm) or oxygen saturation (Mean Difference 1.2%, 95% CI -0.6 to 3.0) were detected Training pressures increased significantly (Mean Difference 18.6 cmH(2)O, 95% CI 11.8-25.3).

CONCLUSION: Threshold-based inspiratory muscle training can be delivered safely in selected ventilator-dependent patients without supplemental oxygen. Inspiratory muscle training is associated with increased muscle strength, which may assist ventilatory weaning.

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