Physiotherapy Intervention in Intensive Care is Safe: An observational study
Question: How often do adverse events (including adverse physiological changes) occur during physiotherapy intervention in intensive care?
Design: A multi-centre prospective observational study. Participants: Five tertiary level university-affiliated intensive care units.
Outcome measures: All physiotherapy intervention in five intensive care units over a three month period. When certain specified changes occurred during physiotherapy intervention, details were noted including diagnosis of patient, intervention, vital signs, radiological changes, co-morbidities, chemical pathology, and fluid balance.
Results: 12 281 physiotherapy interventions were completed with 27 interventions resulting in adverse physiological changes (0.2%). This incidence was significantly lower than a previous study of adverse physiological changes (663 events in 247 patients over a 24-hour period); the incidence during physiotherapy intervention was lower than during general intensive care. Common factors in the patients who had an adverse physiological change were a deterioration in cardiovascular status (ie, decrease in blood pressure or arrhythmia) in patients on medium to high doses of inotropes/vasopressors, unstable baseline hemodynamic values, previous cardiac co-morbidities and intervention consisting of positive pressure or right side lying.
Conclusion: The incidence of adverse events during physiotherapy intervention in these five tertiary hospitals was low, demonstrating that physiotherapy intervention in intensive care is safe.
Zeppos, L., Patman, S., Berney, S., Adsett, J. A., Bridson, J. M., & Paratz, J. D. (2007). Physiotherapy intervention in intensive care is safe: An observational study. Australian Journal of Physiotherapy, 53(4), 279-283.