Effects of bedrest 2: respiratory and haematological systems

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This article has been double-blind peer reviewed Sometimes bedrest is unavoidable, but prolonged periods of bedrest are detrimental for patients' physical function and psychological wellbeing. This article, the second in a six-part series, explores the harmful effects of bedrest on the respiratory system, the haematological system and mental health. It also outlines the nursing interventions that will reduce the harm caused by prolonged bedrest and highlights the benefits of early and gradual remobilisation.Citation Knight J et al (2019) Effects of bedrest 2: respiratory and haematological systems.In this article…Mechanisms through which bedrest alters lung volumes and affects airway structuresVirchow's triad and risk of deep vein thrombosis as a consequence of bedrest and immobilityNursing interventions that help reduce the detrimental effects of bedrestKey pointsProlonged bedrest impairs respiratory function and increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis and embolisationProlonged bedrest can lead to depression, anxiety, forgetfulness and confusionThe longer a patient is confined to bed, the longer the recovery periodPatients confined to bed need turning and repositioning, cough exercises, range-of-motion exercises, relaxation and communicationEarly and gradual remobilisation is key to improve physical function and mental wellbeing

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