Since the health care industry is always searching for useful tools to improve patient care and resources while keeping costs at a minimum, hospitals set up various protocols for their workers to abide by. Cardiac surgery physiotherapy protocol is a set guideline, or system of rules and treatments used by physical therapists to assist patients in pain reduction and recovery. Although nationwide protocols are in place, individual hospitals, institutions and practices may develop their own set of additional guidelines. Numerous hospitals and clinics have found such protocols useful in patient care.

Physical therapists are required to learn proven cardiac surgery physiotherapy protocol in order to keep patient complications to a minimum, or non-existent. This leads to quicker recovery times and short hospital stays.

Cardiac surgery physiotherapy protocol allows for the therapist to use treatments and techniques in addition to normal procedures. In some cases, physiotherapist methods are used in place of normal procedures, such as in patients with allergic reactions to certain medicines. Physiotherapists may see the patient before surgery to instruct in exercises for breathing, such as huffing, deep breathing and coughing, as well as exercises for the arms, legs and trunk sections. It is their job to let the patient know that moving as soon as possible is of great importance after cardiac surgery to get the circulation going and quicken recovery. Cardiac physiotherapists will help the patient with sitting up and walking with assistance after surgery.

Breathing exercises are mandatory in cardiac surgery physiotherapy protocol. The patient is taught to take as deep a breath as he or she can and hold it for the count of three before exhaling. They are to do this up to six breaths at a time for the period time as told by the physiotherapist. The reason for this exercise is to expand the lungs, which have a tendency to collapse after surgery. It also helps to prevent infections within the chest. Huffing and coughing also keep infections at bay. These are done with support, such as a pillow, blanket or towel, placed against the chest to protect the patient’s wound as they are instructed to take a deep breath and cough vigorously. Huffing is also done with a chest support, though the patient is required to breathe in slowly and release a hard sharp breath out while keeping his or her mouth open.

Cardiac surgery physiotherapy protocol guidelines may change as more non-evasive forms of therapy begin to emerge. Researchers continue to perform studies on chest physiotherapy, breathing, massage, and other forms of physiotherapy on patients after cardiac surgery.