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The Effectiveness of Chest Physiotherapy in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Keywords: Physiotherapy , newborn , intensive care unit

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Introduction: The aim of the study is to determine the effects of applications and characteristics of patients followed with chest physiotherapy (CP) programs in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Material and Method: Our study was carried out with 15 patients who had been in NICU and had been examined retrospectively. CP applications consisted of postural drainage, percussion, vibration, positioning, aspiration and passive normal range of motions were applied to all of the patients for nearly 15-20 minutes in 3 sessions/day. Results: The mean age of patients was 33.3±3.6 days. Of the patients, 40% had respiratory distress syndrome, 26.6% had newborn pneumonia, 20% had infant tachypnea, 6.7% broncho-pulmonary dysplasia and 6.7% atelectasis after pneumothorax. The average hospitalization period was 27.27±24.20 days and the average number of CP sessions was 24.60±16.32. At the time of discharge from the NICU, the X-ray findings were normal in 86.7% of the patients. There was a decrease in the heart rate (p=0.002), respiratory frequency (p=0.001), and PaCO2 (p=0.01) at the time of discharge from the NICU compared to the initial values on admission. Conclusion: In conclusion, our data showed that, in addition to medical treatment,CP, as it aids in reducing respiratory symptoms and does not lead to any complications, should be applied more frequently in newborns with respiratory problems.


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