Secretion retention is common in critically ill patients who are intubated and mechanically ventilated. Due to
the presence of an artificial airway, sedation and analgesia and alterations in the physiological mechanism through which
humidification of inspired air occurs, secretion clearance is often impaired in this cohort of patients, Therefore, a bundle
of non-pharmacological strategies are routinely used to manage airway secretion retention. This review paper explores
several preventative strategies used in the management of airway secretions, offering a clinical perspective on their use in
patients who are intubated and mechanically ventilated, based on current literature. Furthermore, this article discusses
several treatment modalities, including chest physiotherapy techniques, which may be employed clinically to manage
secretion retention, and the efficacy surrounding such techniques.
Keywords: Airway clearance techniques, airway secretion management, airway secretion retention, chest physiotherapy,
critically ill patient, endotracheal intubation, mechanical ventilation.
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