Restoring functional status: a long-term case report of severe lung and ventilatory muscle pump dysfunction involving recurrent bacterial pneumonias

Dennis C Sobush, Linda Laatsch, Randolph J Lipchik
Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Journal 2012, 23 (2): 5-12

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Prolonged mechanical ventilation contributes to immobility and deconditioning making efforts to safely discontinue ventilator support desirable. This case report documents how implementing physical therapy treatment interventions, based on the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice, can help to restore a person's functional status even after multiple years of mechanical ventilation dependency.

CASE DESCRIPTION: A patient (female; aged 63 years) with severe restrictive and obstructive ventilatory impairment has survived 34 recurrent pneumonias involving 6 bacterial pathogens while being mechanically ventilated at home. A 3-year study was approved and informed consent obtained for a home exercise program of resistive extremity and inspiratory muscle training along with exercise reconditioning. Tolerable distances walked, maximal inspiratory and expiratory pressures, hours spent on versus off mechanical ventilation, activities performed within and around her home, and community excursions taken were charted.

OUTCOMES: Daily time tolerated off the ventilator improved from less than one to 12 hours, distance walked in 6 minutes increased 33%, and maximal inspiratory and expiratory pressures improved 62% and 9.6% respectively. These improvements made out-of-home social excursions possible.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: This patient's functional status improved following multiple physical therapy interventions dictated by the evaluation of initial physical therapy examination findings according to the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice. Long term mechanical ventilator dependency in the home environment did not exclude this patient from achieving clinically significant gains in functional status even when having severe restrictive and obstructive ventilator impairment.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"