ANCHOR LEAD: PHYSICAL ACTIVITY BENEFITS CRITICALLY ILL PATIENTS, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Prolonged stays in the intensive care unit often mean remaining in bed, under sedation. But Dale Needham, a critical care expert at Johns Hopkins, has spearheaded efforts to get folks in the ICU up and moving, either walking, using electrical muscle stimulation, or peddling a specialized bicycle, and his latest report cites the major benefit.
NEEDHAM: Physical rehabilitation of critically ill patients is tremendously important because we know patients’ number one complaint when they survive a stay in the intensive care unit is significant muscle weakness. This muscle weakness is one of the things that prevents patients from doing their regular activities and really slows down the recovery process, so we need to rethink how we deliver critical care to minimize the amount of bedrest patients have, and have patients awake and moving to preserve their muscle strength, so when they leave the intensive care unit they can get back to their normal life more quickly. :34
Needham says research to simplify methods for getting ICU patients up and about is ongoing. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.