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Is the use of Chest Physiotherapy Beneficial in Children with Community Acquired Pneumonia?

11 Jul, 07 | by BMJ

A 7 year old boy is admitted to the General Paediatric ward with a community acquired Pneumonia Radiograph pneumonia affecting the right lower lobe. It is suggested on the ward round that we arrange chest physiotherapy to try and reduce the length of his hospital stay. We wonder if there is evidence to support the use of physiotherapy in this case.

Clinical Bottom Line

1) There is no evidence that chest physiotherapy is of benefit in the treatment of children with community acquired pneumonia. (Level C)

2) There is some evidence that chest physiotherapy may prolong duration of fever in children with community acquired pneumonia. (Level C)

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Dr Francis J Gilchrist

Paediatric SpR

Burnley General Hospital

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  • Roberrto

    Do they still use physio for children with pneumonia ? I thought they would be concerned with causing a pneumothorax? The last time I heard of physio in children with pneumonia was in the 1980’s. But other measures are required in place of physio that will help loosen phlegm and
    to reperfuse the child to promote healing, as you know decrease O2, decreased time in healing tissue.

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