Patients with acute weakness require the services of the physiotherapy department to maintain adequate respiratory function and to preserve limb function. In the early stages, when cough is poor and respiratory excursion minimal, the patient should be assessed by the physiotherapist. Assisted coughing and breathing exercises should be carried out, and it may be necessary for the nursing staff to perform tracheal suction on a more frequent basis. The aims of treatment are to maintain a clear airway and prevent collapse of the basal sections of the lung.

The limbs should be subjected to frequent passive movements in an attempt to prevent the development of contractures. Splinting of the joints may sometimes be necessary. As the patient recovers strength, physiotherapy advice should be taken to ensure adequate positioning of the patient and to facilitate early mobilization.

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