Original Research

The effect of mechanical vibration on the gaseous exchange and lung functions of patients with acute lung injury

S. P. Wessels
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 50, No 2 | a674 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v50i2.674 | © 2018 S. P. Wessels | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 September 2018 | Published: 31 May 1994

About the author(s)

S. P. Wessels, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa

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In this study, the effect of mechanical vibration, on the gaseous exchange and lung functions of patients with acute lung injury was evaluated. The use of combinations of techniques in previous studies and, the failure to contribute success or failure to any one treatment modality, was the main motivation for this study.
A study was done in which the experimental group received mechanical vibration and the control group only routine respiratory care, for two treatment sessions. Before, and at various time intervals, after the first and second treatment, blood gases and lung functions were recorded. Chest X-rays (CxR) were taken within 12 hours before the first and within 24 hours after the second treatment. For the ventilation studies, the total group was divided randomly in two groups – in one, ventilation studies were carried out before and after the first treatment and in the other, the studies were carried out before the first and after the second treatment.
There was s significant deterioration in PaO2 two hours after the second treatment, and in PaO2 and SaO2 when the values two hours after the second treatment were compared to the values before the first treatment. The CxR of only two of the patients in the experimental group showed improvement and the others showed either no change or deterioration.
The forced vital capacity (FVC) showed a significant improvement after the first treatment, but no change after the second treatment. The same was seen in the ventilation studies.


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