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Following a typical Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) procedure or open heart surgery as it is commonly referred to, patients can experience many obstacles along the road to recovery. Pulmonary complications such as pneumonia, atelectasis, and pleural effusions are just some of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in patients recovering from major thoracic surgery. An incentive spirometer is a small device that allows patients to focus on deep inspirations and adequate expirations while providing visual feedback on the spot. The aim of this research project is to examine the effects that incentive spirometry (IS) use has on the prevention of pneumonia, compared to standard physiotherapy techniques in post-open heart patients, including coughing, deep-breathing, and ambulation. A number of different databases such as PubMED, MEDLINE, and CINAHL were accessed resulting in several RCT’s and observational studies. The research gathered supported that IS use reduced the number of pneumonia cases in the post-op period, but was no more effective than the standard physiotherapy techniques at reducing the frequency of pulmonary complications. Although IS use is a standard within hospitals today, its effectiveness is still highly questioned. Our findings supported that further research is needed, focusing more on just IS usage alone, rather than comparing its effectiveness to standard physiotherapy.


This is a metadata-only record.



  • Subject
    • Nursing

  • Institution
    • Dahlonega

  • Event location
    • Library Third Floor, Open Area

  • Event date
    • 2 April 2014

  • Date submitted

    18 July 2022