Early intensive care unit mobility therapy in the treatment of acute respiratory failure.

Morris PE, Goad A, Thompson C, Taylor K, Harry B, Passmore L, Ross A, Anderson L, Baker S, Sanchez M, Penley L, Howard A, Dixon L, Leach S, Small R, Hite RD, Haponik E.

This study included 330 (divided into two groups, usual care and mobility protocol) medical intensive care unit patients with acute respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation on admission. An intensive care unit Mobility Team (critical care nurse, nursing assistant, physical therapist) initiated a mobility protocol within 48 hrs of mechanical ventilation. Protocol patients were out of bed earlier (5 vs. 11 days), had therapy initiated more frequently in the intensive care unit (91% vs. 13%), and had similar low complication rates compared with Usual Care. In addition protocol patients had shorter intensive care unit length of stay (5.5 vs. 6.9 days); hospital length of stay (11.2 vs. 14.5 days).

There were no untoward events during an intensive care unit Mobility session and no cost difference. The authors concluded that a Mobility Team using a mobility protocol initiated earlier physical therapy that was feasible, safe, did not increase costs and was associated with decreased intensive care unit and hospital length of stay in survivors who received physical therapy during intensive care unit treatment compared with patients who received usual care.

Critical Care Medicine 2008; 36 (8): 2238 – 2243

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