Cardiorespiratory Response During Physical Therapist Intervention for Infants and Young Children With Chronic Respiratory Insufficiency

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To document physical therapist intervention activities and cardiorespiratory response for young children with chronic respiratory insufficiency.


Twelve children born prematurely, 6 to 30 months chronological age and admitted to inpatient pulmonary rehabilitation for oxygen and/or ventilation weaning, were included. During 3 intervention sessions, a second physical therapist recorded intervention activity and heart rate (HR), oxygen saturation (SaO2), and respiratory rate. Total time and median HR, SaO2, and respiratory rate for each activity were calculated. An analysis of variance was used to compare HR and SaO2 across activity based on intersession reliability.


Sitting activities were most frequent and prone least frequent. Median cardiorespiratory measures were within reference standards for age. No adverse effects were seen during intervention and no significant difference was found in HR and SaO2 among intervention activities.


Young children with chronic respiratory insufficiency are able to tolerate intervention with close monitoring by the physical therapist.

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