Objectives: To investigate respiratory and hemodynamic responses to deep breathing exercise (DBE) during the follow-up period in the intensive care unit after major head and neck surgery.
Study design: Prospective study.
Subjects and methods: Thirty-five patients were instructed to perform DBE every hour for 3 consecutive hours during the first postoperative day. The ratio of the partial pressure of arterial oxygen to the fraction of inspired oxygen (PaO(2)/FiO(2)), oxygen saturation (SpO(2)), respiratory rate (RR), heart rate (HR), and mean arterial pressure (MAP) was recorded.
Results: DBE increased the PaO(2)/FiO(2) ratio from 416.7 +/- 143.6 to 453.4 +/- 141.4 mm Hg and increased SpO(2) from 97.4 +/- 1.9 to 99.2 +/- 0.9. DBE decreased the RR from 24.1 +/- 3.3 to 21.8 +/- 2.9 breaths/min (P < 0.05). No statistically significant difference in HR or MAP was observed after DBE (P > 0.05).
Conclusion: DBE improves oxygenation after major head and neck surgery, without causing additional harmful hemodynamic effects.