Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : Intensive care units are equiped and staffed to provide care and support to patients with critical conditions and multiple organ dysfunctions. Patient-to-physiotherapist ratio has not been well established despite the April 2002 law. Furthermore, the required training program has not been defined and chest physiotherapist speciality has not been recognised yet. Therefore, the physiotherapist role may vary from one unit to another and is mostly dependent on the therapist personnal investment. The physiotherapist is involved in all ventilation aspects, including both non-invasive and mechanical ventilation, patient positioning, aerosoltherapy, weaning process and extubation. Care of the musculoskeletal system is also covered, together with arthropathy prevention and muscular training to facilitate earlier autonomy recovery. The activities of the physiotherapist are to be viewed in the perspective of a shorter length of stay, reduced hospital direct cost but also reduction in the cost related to complications. © 2007 Société de réanimation de langue française.