Incentive spirometry, also referred to as sustained maximal inspiration (SMI), is a component of bronchial hygiene therapy.(1-3)
- 2.1 Incentive spirometry is designed to mimic natural sighing or yawning by encouraging the patient to take long, slow, deep breaths.(1,2,4,5) This is accomplished by using a device that provides patients with visual or other positive feedback when they inhale at a predetermined flowrate or volume and sustain the inflation for a minimum of 3 seconds.(2,3,5-7)
- The objectives of this procedure are to increase transpulmonary pressure and inspiratory volumes, improve inspiratory muscle perfor-mance,8 and re-establish or simulate the normal pattern of pulmonary hyperinflation.3 When the procedure is repeated on a regular basis, airway patency may be maintained and lung atelectasis prevented and reversed.(1-3,5,6,9,10)
- 2.2 Incentive spirometry should be contrasted with expiratory maneuvers (such as the use of blow bottles) that do not mimic the sigh and have been associated with the production of reduced lung volumes.(5,6)
- 3.1 Critical care
- 3.2 Acute care inpatient
- 3.3 Extended care and skilled nursing facility
- 3.4 Home care(8)
- 4.1 Presence of conditions predisposing to the development of pulmonary atelectasis
- 4.1.1 upper-abdominal surgery(2,4,9-14)
- 4.1.2 thoracic surgery(9,10,13-15)
- 4.1.3 surgery in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)(7,13-15)
- 4.2 Presence of pulmonary atelectasis(16)
- 4.3 Presence of a restrictive lung defect associated with quadraplegia and/or dysfunctional diaphragm.(6,8,14,17,18)
- 5.1 Patient cannot be instructed or supervised to assure appropriate use of the device.
- 5.2 Patient cooperation is absent(2,16) or patient is unable to understand or demonstrate proper use of the device.(16)
- 5.3 IS is contraindicated in patients unable to deep breathe effectively (eg, with vital capacity [VC] less than about 10 mL/kg or inspiratory capacity [IC] less than about one third of predicted).
- 5.4 The presence of an open tracheal stoma is not a contraindication but requires adaptation of the spirometer.
6.0 HAZARDS AND COMPLICATIONS:
- 6.1 Ineffective unless closely supervised or performed as ordered(6)
- 6.2 Inappropriate as sole treatment for major lung collapse or consolidation
- 6.3 Hyperventilation
- 6.4 Barotrauma (emphysematous lungs)(19)
- 6.5 Discomfort secondary to inadequate pain control(15,18)
- 6.6 Hypoxia secondary to interruption of prescribed oxygen therapy if face mask or shield is being used
- 6.7 Exacerbation of bronchospasm
- 6.8 Fatigue(20,21)
7.0 LIMITATIONS OF METHOD:
Evidence suggests that deep breathing alone without mechanical aides can be as beneficial as incentive spirometry in preventing or reversing pulmonary complications,(1-5) and controversy exists concerning overuse of the procedure.(1,4,6)
8.0 ASSESSMENT OF NEED:
- 8.1 Surgical procedure involving upper abdomen or thorax(4,5)
- 8.2 Conditions predisposing to development of atelectasis including immobility, poor pain control, and abdominal binders
- 8.3 Presence of neuromuscular disease involving respiratory musculature(8)
9.0 ASSESSMENT OF OUTCOME:
- 9.1 Absence of or improvement in signs of atelectasis
- 9.1.1 decreased respiratory rate(16,17)
- 9.1.2 resolution of fever(2,18)
- 9.1.3 normal pulse rate(14)
- 9.1.4 absent crackles (rales)(20) or presence of or improvement in previously absent or diminished breath sounds
- 9.1.5 normal chest x-ray(2)
- 9.1.6 improved arterial oxygen tension (PaO2) and decreased alveolar-arterial oxygen tension gradient, or P(A-a)O2(1,3,4,9,10)
- 9.1.7 increased VC and peak expiratory flows(4,16,17)
- 9.1.8 return of functional residual capacity (FRC) or VC to preoperative values4,(15-17) in absence of lung resection
- 9.2 Improved inspiratory muscle perfor-mance
- 9.2.1 attainment of preoperative flow and volume levels1(1)
- 9.2.2 increased forced vital capacity (FVC)
- 10.1.1 incentive spirometer
- 10.1.2 conclusive evidence to support the use of one type or brand of device over others is lacking(20,22)
- 10.2 Personnel
- 10.2.1 Level I personnel should possess
- 10.2.1.1 mastery of techniques for proper operation and clinical application of device(6) and understanding of the importance of effective postopera-tive pain relief(15,16,18) and the absence of other impediments to patient cooperation (such as residual anesthetic or sensory impairment(12,17))
- 10.2.1.2 ability to instruct patient in proper technique(2,6) and an under-standing of the importance of preoperative instruction and supervised practice
- 10.2.1.3 ability to respond appropriately to adverse effects
- 10.2.1.4 knowledge of and ability to implement Universal Precautions
- 10.2.2 Level II personnel, in addition to possessing knowledge and abilities described in 10.2.1.1-10.2.1.4, should have demonstrated ability to assess patient need for and response to therapy and recommend modifications and discontinu-ance as appropriate.
Direct supervision of every patient performance is not necessary once the patient has demonstrated mastery of technique;(6,16,23) however, preoperative instruction, volume goals, and feedback are essential to optimal performance.
- 11.1 Observation of patient performance and utilization
- 11.1.1 frequency of sessions(16)
- 11.1.2 number of breaths/session(16)
- 11.1.3 inspiratory volume or flow goals achieved(16) and 3- to 5-second breath-hold maintained
- 11.1.4 effort/motivation(16)
- 11.2 Periodic observation of patient compliance with technique,(6,16,23) with additional in-struction as necessary
- 11.3 Device within reach of patient(5) and patient encouraged to perform independently
- 11.4 New and increasing inspiratory volumes established each day
- 11.5 Vital signs
A number of authors suggest using the device 5-10 breaths per session, at a minimum, every hour while awake (ie, 100 times a day).(2,7,19) Caregiver does not need to be present with each performance, and patient should be encouraged to perform independently.
13.0 INFECTION CONTROL:
- 13.1 Universal Precautions(24)
- 13.2 Proper labeling and appropriate storage of devices between uses and appropriate cleaning of devices between patients(25)
Bronchial Hygiene Guidelines Committee:
Lana Hilling RCP CRTT, Chairman, Concord CA
Eric Bakow RRT, Pittsburg PA
Jim Fink RCP RRT, San Francisco CA
Chris Kelly BS RRT, Oakland CA
Dennis Sobush MA PT, Milwaukee WI
Peter A Southorn MD, Rochester MN
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