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Open Badges Commentary

Inspiratory muscle training in difficult to wean patients: work it harder, make it better, do it faster, makes us stronger

Stefano Nava* and Luca Fasano

Author Affiliations

Respiratory and Critical Care Unit, Sant'Orsola Malpighi Hospital, 40138 Bologna, Italy

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Critical Care 2011, 15:153  doi:10.1186/cc10125

See related research by Martin et al.,

Published: 18 April 2011


Weaning from prolonged mechanical ventilation is a complex, time-consuming process that involves the loss of force/generating capacity of the inspiratory muscle. In their study 'Inspiratory muscle strength training improves the outcome in failure to wean patients: a randomized trial', Martin and colleagues showed that the use of an inspiratory muscle strength program increased the maximal inspiratory pressure and improved weaning success compared to a control group. The study was performed mainly in post-surgical patients, however, and the results, therefore, may not be generalizable to other subsets of patients, such as those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or congestive heart failure. Indeed, the study applied so-called 'strength training' and not 'endurance training', which may be more appropriate in certain circumstances.