Evidence
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Physiotherapy education before major abdominal surgery reduces lung complications

A physiotherapy session before planned abdominal surgery, explaining the importance of breathing exercises and sitting out of bed as soon after surgery as possible, halves the risk of pneumonia. This trial compared the physiotherapy session with usual care which was provided to all 432 participants. This consisted of a leaflet given in the pre-operative outpatient ...

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Statins are of no benefit in acute respiratory distress syndrome

Giving statins to patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome made no difference to the number of days they spent on a ventilator. It also had no effect on mortality or the length of time spent in intensive care or in hospital compared with placebo. In acute respiratory distress syndrome, the lungs become severely inflamed, fill ...

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Pulmonary rehabilitation improves exercise tolerance in pulmonary fibrosis

People with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis who received pulmonary rehabilitation could walk 44 metres further in six minutes than those who did no exercise. Quality of life also improved. Pulmonary fibrosis is a rare condition where scar tissue builds up in the lungs making them stiff and causing breathing difficulty. The term idiopathic means there is ...

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Blood test reduces mortality and shortens antibiotic use among adults with chest infection

It may be feasible to use procalcitonin blood levels to guide antibiotic treatment for adults in hospital with a suspected chest infection. By measuring procalcitonin, an indicator of bacterial infection, clinicians could review their diagnosis earlier. This reduced antibiotic exposure by 2.5 days with fewer adverse effects and also less mortality. About 14 extra people ...

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A strategy of 'delayed antibiotic prescribing' for respiratory infections may reduce antibiotic use

Delaying antibiotic prescribing made little difference to most symptoms of respiratory infection. It reduced antibiotic use and did not affect patient satisfaction compared with immediate prescribing of antibiotics. Increasing antibiotic resistance is a global health concern. Many people don’t realise that viruses cause most respiratory infections and that antibiotics won’t help. The strategy allows some time ...

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Breathing exercises improve asthma and can be learned by DVD

Breathing exercises taught by a physiotherapist in person or on DVD both improved the quality of life of adults with poorly controlled asthma to a small but similar extent. The DVD was the cheapest option, and it could lead to inexpensive internet delivery in the future. This NIHR-funded trial recruited 655 UK adults with poorly ...

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Use of a facemask ventilator can reduce deaths in severe flare-ups of COPD

People admitted to hospital with a severe exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were 46% less likely to die if they received non-invasive ventilation. Only 12% of those receiving non-invasive ventilation needed subsequent invasive ventilation via a tube, compared to 34% of those who had usual care. This review identified 17 trials of adults ...

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Humidified oxygen linked to increased chest infections

More respiratory infections in adults followed the use of humidified oxygen compared with non-humidified low-flow oxygen therapy. Bacterial contamination was common in the humidified oxygen bottles across various hospital departments including respiratory wards. UK guidelines currently recommend using non-humidified oxygen for adults requiring low-flow oxygen. However, in countries such as China, oxygen is routinely humidified ...

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My Signals - Patients

In My Signals, health and social care staff and service users tell us what research is important to them and why they feel others need to know about it. Join the conversation on Twitter and tell us which Signals have interested, excited or surprised you, using #MySignals. You can find the latest NIHR Signals here. We asked four members ...

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Infants anaesthetised without placing a tube in the trachea have fewer adverse breathing events

Adverse breathing events are about three times more common when using endotracheal tubes than laryngeal mask airways for infants under 12 months receiving non-urgent surgery. Airway problems are common during anaesthesia in children, accounting for three quarters of critical incidents and a third of cardiac arrests. They are more frequent in younger children, especially infants ...

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