Author(s): Ingwersen UM, Larsen KR, Bertelsen MT, KiilNielsen K, Laub M,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: An investigation into the incidence of post-operative complications after thoracic surgery with 3 different physiotherapy masks. DESIGN: A prospective, consecutive, randomized comparison. SETTING: Department of Thoracic and Heart Surgery at a University Hospital. The treatments were performed by experienced and specially trained physiotherapists. PATIENTS: 160 patients were evaluated. 60 patients undergoing heart surgery, 59 patients having pulmonary resection, and 41 patients with exploratory thoracotomy. INTERVENTIONS: In each operative category the patients were treated with one of three face mask systems used in addition to routine chest physiotherapy. These were either continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), positive expiratory pressure (PEP), or inspiratory resistance - positive expiratory pressure (IR-PEP). MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: Post-operative pulmonary complications were assessed by forced vital capacity (FVC), arterial oxygen tension (PaO2), and chest X-ray examination, all measured pre-operatively and on the fourth and ninth post-operative day. The patients filled in a questionnaire expressing their opinion about their mask treatment. There was an equal decrease in FVC, FVC\%, and PaO2, and equal frequency of atelectasis in the 3 mask treatments. More patients with the PEP mask favoured their system than did those with the other 2 systems. CONCLUSION: There was no statistically significant difference between the treatments: continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), positive expiratory pressure (PEP), and inspiratory resistance - positive expiratory pressure (IR-PEP) on post-operative complications. Any of the three treatments may be used as supplement to standard chest physiotherapy.
This article was published in Intensive Care Med
and referenced in Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research