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Respiratory Physiotherapy for the ICU Patient

Online Course: Respiratory Physiotherapy for the ICU Patient

Apply goal-directed physiotherapy interventions to prevent respiratory complications in the intensive care unit

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Course instructor:

Chidile Muonwe

Chidile is a Physiotherapist, Researcher and Lecturer in Nigeria with an interest in promoting and developing the role of physiotherapy in ICUs.

1-1.5 hours

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Respiratory dysfunction is a common problem associated with the critically ill in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Critical illness combined with bedrest results in general deconditioning which impacts many body systems, especially the respiratory system, placing ICU patients at a much higher risk of developing respiratory complications. Respiratory care is one of the primary functions of physiotherapy in the ICU and is aimed towards the prevention and resolution of respiratory complications. The primary goals of physiotherapy for respiratory dysfunction in the ICU include airway secretion clearance, recruitment of lung volume, optimisation of oxygenation and the improvement and maintenance of inspiratory muscle strength. Physiotherapists have many modalities at their disposal to directly address and achieve these goals in order to mitigate pulmonary complications. With these goals in mind, this course will address the classification of the various physiotherapeutic modalities available according to their physiological effects, enabling us to direct our treatments towards the patient’s physiological needs.


The purpose of this course is to introduce you to the role of physiotherapy in the prevention and management of respiratory complications in patients admitted to the ICU.


This course is made up of videos, reading, forum posts and a final quiz. The course content is split into the following sections:

  1. Video
  2. Reading activity
  3. Quiz

Target audience

This course is aimed at Physiotherapy and Physical Therapy clinicians, students and assistants. Other interested professionals such as athletic trainers, occupational therapists, nurses or medical doctors interested in this subject are also invited to participate.

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