Early exercise in critically ill patients enhances short-term functional recovery

Burtin C, Clerckx B, Robbeets C, Ferdinande P, Langer D, Troosters T, Hermans G, Decramer M, Gosselink R

The objective of this study was to investigate whether a daily exercise session, using a bedside cycle ergometer, is a safe and effective intervention in preventing or attenuating the decrease in functional exercise capacity, functional status, and quadriceps force that is associated with prolonged intensive care unit stay. Ninety critically ill patients were included as soon as their cardiorespiratory condition allowed bedside cycling exercise (starting from day 5), given they still had an expected prolonged intensive care unit stay of at least 7 more days. Both groups received respiratory physiotherapy and a daily standardized passive or active motion session of upper and lower limbs. In addition, the treatment group performed a passive or active exercise training session for 20 mins/day, using a bedside ergometer. At intensive care unit discharge, quadriceps force and functional status were not different between groups. At hospital discharge, 6-min walking distance, isometric quadriceps force, and the subjective feeling of functional well-being were significantly higher in the treatment group.

Early exercise training in critically ill intensive care unit survivors enhanced recovery of functional exercise capacity, self-perceived functional status, and muscle force at hospital discharge.

Critical Care Medicine, 2009 Jul 20, onlne article ahead of print

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