Respiratory muscle weakness is associated with adverse outcomes for intensive care (ICU) patients, including difficulty weaning from mechanical ventilation, increased mortality, and increased risk of ICU re-admissions.[i] Because of this, several researchers have investigated the benefits of respiratory muscle training, as a tool for improving respiratory muscle strength and function in hospitalized patients. Like skeletal muscle disuse atrophy which occurs quickly in ICU patients, weakness and atrophy of the diaphragm is said to occur in as few as 3 days or less, in particular if patients are receiving mechanical ventilation.

Since it has been shown that inspiratory muscle training improves whole body exercise performance in individuals with COPD and other pulmonary and neuromuscular disease diagnosis,  introducing respiratory muscle training early in a patient’s  ICU recovery has been proposed as a strategy for improving respiratory muscle strength, and reducing complications, such as prolonged respiratory failure or pneumonia.

Dual training of the inspiratory and expiratory muscles may also help patients recover strength in the muscles required for cough and clearance as well as those required for safe swallowing which entails exquisite timing and co-ordination of breathing and swallowing.

Although respiratory muscle training devices have been available for over 30 years, healthcare professionals have been somewhat slow to recognize their value and implement their use as treatment tools but also as a part of a prevention strategy, particularly for vulnerable patient populations such as those with a diagnosis of pulmonary disease, neurodegenerative disease, or post stroke, who are at risk for pulmonary infections, including those associated with aspiration pneumonia.

  1. Adler D, Dupuis-Lozeron E, Richard JC, Janssens JP, Brochard Does inspiratory muscle dysfunction predict readmission after intensive care unit discharge? Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2014;190:347–50.


September 4, 2019 @ 5:30pm EST  or September 5, 2019 @ 8pm EST.

If you are a healthcare professional new to learning about respiratory muscle training, and you would like to learn more, please consider attending a free 60 minute webinar, hosted by PN Medical, manufacturer of The Breather®, a flow resistance RMT devices which has been available to patients for over 30 years.

If you are a patient or customer of Voice Aerobics, who has been using The Breather® as a part of your home exercise program, you are also welcome to join the webinar and learn more about the benefits of RMT.

Guest presenter:  Dr. Sigfredo Aldarondo.  Dr. Aldarondo, MD, FCCP has practiced Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine in Central Florida since 1986 and Sleep Medicine since 2004. He has consistently been recognized as one of the top physicians in his field and has served in different capacities with the University of Central Florida, Florida Hospital leadership, as well as diverse community and faith-based initiatives in the Central Florida area. Dr. Aldarondo has a private practice in Winter Park where he, his colleague Christian A. Hernandez, MD, along with his staff, strive to treat, educate and partner with their  patients on lung health.

Register here:


My MissionTo enlist individuals in their treatment, and help them express their personality & spirit through voice. To educate and empower. Mary Spremulli, MA, CCC-SLP