Does Incentive Spirometer decrease a temp?

  1. Ive been taught that it does, but a doc told a patient that was hogwash. Ive been told by other docs to have patients do it for a temp. Ive seen it work (I think), not sure if it was the IS that did it. I know it is used to decrease risk for pneumonia, but temp? Does anyone know for sure? Thanks.
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  2. 31 Comments

  3. by   traumaRUs
    No - it can't reduce a temp per se. However, it assists with breaking up atelectasis and thus might prevent pneumonia.

    Here is some pt info:

    http://uuhsc.utah.edu/pated/handouts...ut.cfm?id=1690

    And a description of the why's behind use of IS:

    http://www.rcjournal.com/online_reso.../ispircpg.html
  4. by   meownsmile
    I agree it doesnt decrease the temperature. However, it does help dry up the atelectic secreations in the lungs that are causing the temp to go up. Using the incentive spirometer correctly will quickly open and dry up the lungs so there isnt anything for the bacteria/germs to grow in. Ive seen temps go down with consistent use over a period of a few hours given the temp hasnt reached over 100.
  5. by   Roy Fokker
    Quote from meownsmile
    I agree it doesnt decrease the temperature. However, it does help dry up the atelectic secreations in the lungs that are causing the temp to go up. Using the incentive spirometer correctly will quickly open and dry up the lungs so there isnt anything for the bacteria/germs to grow in. Ive seen temps go down with consistent use over a period of a few hours given the temp hasnt reached over 100.
    Ditto that.

    And given that I work surgical - I/S is our first weapon of choice in keeping temps. down. At the first hint of a rising temp. I'm in there encouraging increased use of the I/S and almost always, I see the next temp. to be stable or lower.

    "IS on the hour, every hour - while awake"



    cheers,
  6. by   MIA-RN1
    This is so timely--yesterday I had a pt who's temp was slowly climbing and the doc ordered an incentive spirometer for it. (highest was 38.1 and 38.3 is reportable)
    Later, I went to check pts temp and it was 38. I told her to take a few deep breaths and retook it---37.6! All temps were taken in her ear with the same thermometer.
    When I first started in the summer, and had a pt who spiked to 38.3 I called the HO, she got abx etc. Another nurse said I should have just had her take some deep breaths and rechecked it. That's what I thought about when I did it with my patient last night.
    So maybe no, it doesn't work on paper or scientfically...but anecdotally...well, yeah it seemed to work.
  7. by   mommabearttmc
    Hello, I am a nursing student, completing the last few months of study. During my clinicals, I am amazed at how often I enter a pt. room and find the IS stuck on the window sill or on an out of the way shelf. I have made it a point to educate those pt. on the importance of exercising their lungs for prevention of pneumonia, etc, but was unaware of the benefits re: temperature reduction. It seems logical. Thanks for sharing info 'out of the box' rather textbook.
  8. by   RNsRWe
    Quote from meownsmile
    I agree it doesnt decrease the temperature. However, it does help dry up the atelectic secreations in the lungs that are causing the temp to go up. Using the incentive spirometer correctly will quickly open and dry up the lungs so there isnt anything for the bacteria/germs to grow in. Ive seen temps go down with consistent use over a period of a few hours given the temp hasnt reached over 100.
    So then....you DO agree it decreases the temp, actually. Obviously there's a method for it doing this, and you've explained it nicely

    And like Roy said, on our med-surg unit, if there's a temp issue, the IS comes out first. And it absolutely works, IMO...I've seen Tylenol used in some patients, IS in others (first) and in all cases, the temp comes down with consistent use.

    Now, GETTING the patients to stop whining about DOING it, and stop leaving them on the windowsills, that's another story!
  9. by   Roy Fokker
    Quote from RNsRWe
    Now, GETTING the patients to stop whining about DOING it, and stop leaving them on the windowsills, that's another story!
    I surprise myself (or maybe my patients surprise me!) but I've found that telling them to "think of it as a game" seems to work wonders most of the time! It used to work with me on peds - I had no idea the same tactic worked on adults!

    Or maybe they're just humouring me

    But yes - prodding/coaxing by nurses is a MUST. I'd rather my patients think I'm a hard*** than spike temps and complicate things (and delay discharges! )
  10. by   churdlpn
    I had outpatient surgery a few years ago and developed a temp of 104. I paged the surgeon like my post op instructions said to and he instructed me to do IS. It did decrease my temp. down to 100. So I guess I would say it did work for me. I didn't take any tylenol since I was taking pain meds from the surgery.
  11. by   General E. Speaking, RN
    not sure about the science part but 17 yrs of nursing has taught me that it does bring down temps
  12. by   DaFreak71
    Association causation fallacy:

    Inaccurately linking cause and effect. The fact that one event follows another does not necessarily mean that the first event caused the second event.

    I/S lowers a temperature in the exact same way that drinking Dr. Pepper cures a UTI.
  13. by   chenoaspirit
    I found this website of a physician stating that the IS will decrease a temp. Im still researching to find more info. I think its an unlabelled use. Not sure of the mechanics behind it though. Thanks guys for your responses. And to the response of cause/effect- you have to look at the correlation values. If anyone finds any info, please let me know.

    http://www.med.umich.edu/urology/pat...esicostomy.pdf
  14. by   DaFreak71
    Quote from chenoaspirit
    I found this website of a physician stating that the IS will decrease a temp. Im still researching to find more info. I think its an unlabelled use. Not sure of the mechanics behind it though. Thanks guys for your responses. And to the response of cause/effect- you have to look at the correlation values. If anyone finds any info, please let me know.

    http://www.med.umich.edu/urology/pat...esicostomy.pdf

    The link you provided was to a patient information flyer explaining what to expect during his/her hospital stay. The way the I/S is explained is:

    "To promote complete lung expansion and prevent respiratory complications, which will affect the body temperature".

    What he is saying to the lay person (the patient) is that if you develop a respiratory complication (infection) such as pneumonia you will have an increased temperature, so be sure to use the I/S to promote the lung expansion so you won't be prone to those respiratory complications. He is not asserting that the I/S is used to decrease a temperature.

    Also, I don't know what you mean by "And to the response of cause and effect, you have to look at the correlation values".

    Saying that I/S use decreases a temperature is no different than saying that if you deep breath every hour x 10, you won't have an infection. It is nonsensical. Nursing is suppose to be evidence based so the anecdotal stories don't carry too much weight to them.

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