Incentive spirometry for preventing pulmonary complications after coronary artery bypass graft.

Freitas ER, Soares BG, Cardoso JR, Atallah AN

The objective of this study was to assess the effects of incentive spirometry for preventing postoperative pulmonary complications in adults undergoing CABG. Four trials with 443 participants contributed to this review. There was no significant difference in pulmonary complications (atelectasis and pneumonia) between treatment with incentive spirometry and treatment with positive pressure breathing techniques (continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) and intermittent positive pressure breathing (IPPB)) or preoperative patient education. Patients treated with incentive spirometry had worse pulmonary function and arterial oxygenation compared with positive pressure breathing (CPAP, BiPAP, IPPB). The authors conclude that individual small trials suggest that there is no evidence of benefit from incentive spirometry in reducing pulmonary complications and in decreasing the negative effects on pulmonary function in patients undergoing CABG.

Cochrane Database of Systemaitic Reviews, 2007, 3, CD004466

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