Criteria for calling for Emergency Physiotherapy CUH 4:30 PM - 8:30 AM


  • Contactable through switchboard
  • Referrals will only be accepted from Consultant/Registrar/Senior House Officer
  • If BIPAP required, contact EM registrar (for wards contact MROC and/or Anaesthetics)
  • If CPAP/HIFLOW required, contact EM registrar (anaesthetics if on wards)

The doctor must:

  1. Assess the patient at the time of the call.
  2. Be available to speak to the Physiotherapist.
  3. Criteria for emergency call – two of the following criteria:
    1. Pyrexia
    2. Changes on CXR
    3. Reduced level of consciousness
    4. Decreased oxygen saturation
    5. Production of sputum.

Conditions not appropriate for emergency treatment:

  • Complete lung collapse, requiring bronchoscopy.
  • Severe bronchospasm/silent chest.
  • Left ventricular failure.
  • Incorrect hydration.
  • Undrained pneumothorax.
  • Pleural effusion.
  • Pulmonary embolus.
  • Acute pneumonia.

Emergency physiotherapy is not an extension of normal duties and should only be given in the event of the patient’s deteriorating condition.

Physiotherapists are not called in to set up CPAP or High-flow or BiPAP or for transfers of patients to the wards.

It is essential that the diagnosis plus other relevant information concerning the patient’s condition is entered on the emergency request form


Content by Dr Íomhar O' Sullivan (internal email 15/06/2010) on 15/06/2010. Last review Dr ÍOS 3/12/18