Effect of kinetic therapy on pulmonary complications

Thomas Ahrens, Marin Kollef, Jena Stewart, William Shannon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Optimal turning of critically ill patients is not well established. Kinetic therapy (systematic mechanical rotation of patients with 40° turns) may improve pulmonary function more than the improvement in function achieved via the standard of care (turning patients every 2 hours). • OBJECTIVE: To determine (1) if patients receiving mechanical ventilation who tolerate kinetic therapy have better pulmonary function than do patients treated with standard turning and (2) the cost-effectiveness of kinetic therapy. • METHODS: A prospective, randomized, multicenter study including 234 medical, surgical, and trauma patients (137 control patients, 97 patients receiving kinetic therapy). • RESULTS: Kinetic therapy significantly decreased the occurrence of ventilator-associated pneumonia and lobar atelectasis. The risk of pneumonia developing was lower (P = .002) in patients receiving kinetic therapy than in the control patients. The risk of lobar atelectasis developing was decreased (P = .02) for the patients receiving kinetic therapy. Lengths of stay in the intensive care unit and in the hospital did not differ between the groups. Charges for intensive care were less in the kinetic therapy group ($81 700) than in the control group ($84 958), but not significantly less. Twenty-one patients did not tolerate kinetic therapy and were not included in the analysis. • CONCLUSION: Kinetic therapy helps prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia and lobar atelectasis in critically ill patients. Costs to rent the bed may be offset by the potential cost reduction associated with kinetic therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-383
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Critical Care
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2004


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