role of the physiotherapist in paediatric intensive care units


What is the role of the physiotherapist in paediatric intensive care units? A systematic review of the evidence for respiratory and rehabilitation interventions for mechanically ventilated patients

Six studies on chest physiotherapy (CPT) met the selection criteria. Results support the use of the expiratory flow increase technique and CPT, especially manual hyperinflation and vibrations, for secretion clearance. Evidence does not support the routine use of either CPT or suction alone. No studies investigating rehabilitation in PICU met selection criteria.


A lack of high level evidence was available to inform this review.


Evidence indicates that CPT is still the focus of physiotherapy intervention in PICU for mechanically ventilated patients, and supports its use for secretion clearance in this setting.

Ellie Hawkinsemail, Anne Jonescorrespondenceemail
Discipline of Physiotherapy, School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia

Published Online:April 13, 2015