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New Guidelines Target Unnecessary Airway Therapy in Hospitalized Patients

Experts question benefit of clearing lung mucus (November 18)

Patients admitted to the hospital with various illnesses may receive routine therapies intended to clear the lungs of mucus. This can be costly due to the time required by a respiratory therapist, nurse, or other health care provider to deliver the therapy. In addition to labor costs, some therapies require an expensive device.

New insights into the effectiveness of this treatment were presented Nov. 17 at the 59th International Respiratory Convention and Exhibition of the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) in Anaheim, California.

In the report, a new systematic review commissioned by the AARC, in conjunction with Vanderbilt University, finds that there is currently a lack of evidence showing the benefit of these therapies when performed routinely. To address this evidence void, accompanying clinical practice guidelines written by a team of experts provides guidance for the appropriate selection of these therapies.

Lead author Shawna Strickland, PhD, RRT, said: “The newly released guidelines focus on the use of therapies designed to clear airway mucus for patients in the hospital. Following these recommendations may result in a reduction of unnecessary care. It also has the potential to reduce hospital cost due to elimination of unnecessary procedures. The guidelines have also highlighted the need for further research into the effectiveness of these therapies.”

Source: PR Newswire; November 18, 2013.

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