Q My facility is currently reviewing critical care beds with or without percussion and vibration therapy. I am seeing other hospital systems moving away from this therapy and focusing on early mobility. What is current evidence-based practice regarding this therapy?

A Maureen A. Seckel, rn, apn, acns-bc, ccns, ccrn, and Bridget Remel, msn, aprn, agcns-bc, ccrn-k, reply:

You are correct that there is an evidence-based move toward early mobility. In fact, little research has specifically reviewed the effects of this move on the use of critical care beds for percussion and vibration therapy. In theory, percussion and vibration are thought to free secretions from the airway walls and further facilitate movement of secretions upward and out.

Continuous lateral rotation therapy (CLRT) has been studied, although the specifics of whether percussion and vibration were used...

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