Postural drainage therapy

Postural drainage therapy consists of positioning certain pulmonary segments higher than the carina. Secretions can then be eliminated easily. Posturing can also improve the ventilation-to-perfusion ratio and increase functional residual capacity. Some postures cause the patient major discomfort. Different postures (inclined, lateral decubitus) are used with aerosols, percussion, and cough stimulation.

In intensive care unit (ICU) patients on mechanical ventilation, changes in posture should be performed every 1 or 2 h and postural drainage every 4 to 6 h. The therapeutic indications must be reviewed every 24 h. Postural drainage can increase intracranial pressure.

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