The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2000 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

The Physical Therapist's Perspective: Exercises for the Home Mechanical Ventilator Patient

Donna Frownfelter, MA, PT, CCS, RRT Finch University/Chicago Medical School, Chicago, Illinois

Muscle strength, joint range of motion and independent functioning in activities of daily living are often impaired with individuals that require ventilator assistance. Prolonged periods of bed rest and immobility will compromise the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems. Aerobic capacity will decrease with decreased activity and immobility. Interventions by physical therapists address specific function as well as provide instruction in ventilatory strategies to coordinate breathing with specific activities.
The presentation will discuss collaboration among team members to provide continuity and maximize functioning in airway clearance, ventilatory strategies, and exercise for strength and endurance. Practical suggestions will be offered for simple equipment and home supplies that can be utilized in treatment at home.

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