Pulmonary complications after surgery, serious injury, or severe illness may delay or prevent complete recovery. They are also a major factor in increasing total healthcare costs, especially in terms of intensive care unit utilization. Accurate identification of high-risk patients and prompt institution of preventative and interventional therapies may modify the impact of common pulmonary complications including1:
- Airway occlusion
- Impaired gas exchange
- Pulmonary infection
- Respiratory failure
Individuals at high risk for serious pulmonary complications in the post-surgical/ ICU setting include2 patients:
- Undergoing thoracic surgery, coronary artery bypass grafting, upper abdominal, and head and neck procedures
- Undergoing lengthy procedures under anesthesia
- Who react adversely to certain anesthetic agents
- With significant systemic disease
- With chronic lung disease, especially with wheeze, productive cough, or history of chronic bronchitis
- Who are active smokers or with significant smoking histories
- Who are significantly overweight
- Who are immobilized by serious illness or injury
- With high-level spinal cord injuries or severe head trauma
- With significant cognitive dysfunction
Retained airway secretions promote development of bronchopulmonary infections and subsequent atelectasis. Certain surgical, trauma, or acutely ill patients are at high risk for mucus retention and airway obstruction as a result of:
- Reduced cough function
- Decreased regional ventilation
- Decreased ciliary transport
- Prolonged immobility
- Abnormal mucus flow
- Dehydration of secretions secondary to anesthesia
Airway Clearance with The Vest® System
The Vest® Airway Clearance System is an easy-to-use medical device for children and adults. The Vest® System is quiet, comfortable and portable. Its features promote user independence and simplify treatment routines.
The Vest® System uses a technology called High Frequency Chest Wall Oscillation (HFCWO). The Vest® System has an inflatable garment connected by Air Hoses to an Air Pulse Generator. During therapy, the inflatable garment inflates and deflates rapidly, applying gentle pressure to the chest wall. This works to loosen and thin mucus and to move it toward the larger airways, where it can be cleared by coughing or suctioning.
The Vest® System — Safe and Effective Therapy
HFCWO has been widely described in medical literature. More than 80 studies demonstrate the efficacy and safety of HFCWO for a variety of patients.
Learn more about clinical evidence and support:
- HFCWO (The Vest® System) Research
- Airway Clearance Requirements Among Patients With Mechanical Ventilation and Artificial Airways: An Overview - Jane Braverman (employed by Hill-Rom)
- Airway Clearance Therapy Utilizing HFCWO for Medically Fragile Children
- Mucociliary Dysfunction Associated with Lung Transplantation: Causes, Effects, and Therapeutic Strategies - Jane Braverman (employed by Hill-Rom)
- Kempainen RR, Benditt JO. Evaluation and management of patients with pulmonary disease before thoracic and cardiovascular surgery. Sem Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2001; 13 (2): 105-115.
- Smetana, GW. Preoperative pulmonary evaluation. N Engl J Med 1999; 340: 937-944.
- Trayner E, Bartolome RC. Postoperative pulmonary complications. Med Clin N Am 2001; 85 50: 1129-1139.