Recent Advances in Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

Ryuhei Sato*, Satoru Ebihara and Masahiro Kohzuki

Recent Advances in Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Pulmonary rehabilitation is important to prevent complications in critically ill patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) who are on mechanical ventilation. However, the effectiveness and
adverse events related to pulmonary rehabilitation for patients in the ICU are largely unclear because of the diversity of diseases and various levels of severity in this situation. This review
aims to clarify the evidence currently available for pulmonary rehabilitation in critically ill adult patients requiring mechanical ventilation, with a focus on positioning and early mobilization. Prone positioning (PP) does not seem to benefit adults with hypoxemia mechanically ventilated in the ICU.

However, it improved survival among patient subgroups like those enrolled within 48 h of meeting the trial entry criteria, those treated with PP for ≥16 h per day, and those with severe hypoxemia at trial entry. PP using the protective lung ventilation strategy for patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome was associated with reduced mortality. On the other hand, PP may cause pressure sores and tracheal tube obstruction. The semi-recumbent position may prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia with no adverse events. Early mobilization (EM) enhances mobility status and muscle strength and increases days of life and out of the hospital for up to 6 months; it also shortens the duration of delirium.

The main adverse events with EM are hemodynamic changes and desaturation. Therefore, medical staff should carry out pulmonary rehabilitation for patients in the ICU, given the effectiveness and adverse events. Future studies should identify diseases that would benefit from pulmonary rehabilitation and optimize the method.

Pulm Res Respir Med Open J. 2017; SE(2): S50-S53.doi: 10.17140/PRRMOJ-SE-2-107