July 18, 2019

Effect of incentive spirometer patient reminder after CABG

By: Judy Mathias

Editor’s Note

An incentive spirometer reminder after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) improved patient adherence and, in turn, improved the atelectasis severity score and multiple subsequent clinical outcomes, this study finds.

In this study of 212 patients who had CABG surgery, 145 were randomized by hourly reminder SpiroTimer “bell on” (experimental group, 71) or “bell off” (control group, 74).

The patient reminder bell improved:

  • patient adherence (58% vs 28%)
  • atelectasis severity score (1.5 vs 1.8)
  • early postoperative fever duration (3.2 hours vs 5.2)
  • noninvasive positive pressure ventilation use (37.2% vs 19.2%)
  • ICU stay (4 days vs 3 days)
  • hospital stay (7 days vs 6 days)
  • 6-month mortality rate (9% vs 0%).

With the reminder bell, incentive spirometry is clinically effective when used appropriately, the researchers say. Further studies are needed to determine if incentive spirometry without a reminder is cost-effective or of any clinical use.


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