The purpose of this song was to document and describe the use of a hospital-wide, 24-hour cardiorespiratory physiotherapy service run by an intensive care unit (ICU) team of physiotherapists. The authors prospectively collected data on all non-ICU hospital patients who used the 24-hours-per-day cardiorespiratory physiotherapy service over a 1-year period between July 2013 and June 2014. The ICU physiotherapists documented the reason, origin of referral, time of call, and type and frequency of treatment of each patient. Over the 1-year period, the ICU physiotherapists administered 2,192 out-of-hours cardiorespiratory physiotherapy treatments (n=685 patients) outside the ICU. Most referrals originated from the emergency department (25%), the cardiopulmonary transplant unit (20%), and the pulmonology department (16%). Referrals were from a physiotherapist in 49% of cases, from a nurse in 32%, and from a physician in 19%. Of these, 89% were made between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., and sputum retention was the most frequent reason (86%).
Although proving its cost effectiveness is difficult, organizing a 24-hours-per-day, 7-days-per-week cardiorespiratory physiotherapy service in a large hospital is feasible.