Chest Physiotherapy as an Adjunct in a Mechanically Ventilated Infant with Atelectasis: A Case Report
Dr. Aishwarya Nair,
Assistant Professor, Nitte Institute of Physiotherapy, NITTE (Deemed to be University), Mangalore-575018, Karnataka, India.
Atelectasis occurs due to impaired airway clearance or complete airway obstruction caused by inflammation, leading to the collapse of tiny airways either partially or completely. This results in impaired exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen. A chest X-ray, Computed Tomography (CT), and/or thoracic ultrasound are helpful in identifying atelectasis. In the present case, a 5-month-old female infant was reported to the Paediatric Department with the chief complaint of seizure and loss of consciousness. An X-ray was performed, revealing complete left lung atelectasis with no air entry. The infant was referred for physiotherapy in addition to medical management. Through seven intensive and regular sessions of respiratory physiotherapy, which included techniques such as percussion, vibration, and postural drainage for more than 30 minutes, there was successful resolution of the consolidation and improvement in presenting symptoms. After the final sessions of physiotherapy, the infant was discharged with physiotherapy home programs. This suggests that physiotherapy is an integral part of paediatric critical care, ensuring a good prognosis and faster recovery.