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Exercise Physiologists Aid Early Mobilization in ICU Patients

Critically ill patients maintain, increase level of activity after early mobilization interventions

hospital patient with walker and nurse

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Exercise physiologists can provide safe and effective early mobilization in intensive care units (ICUs), according to a study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Critical Care.

Claudia DiSabatino Smith, Ph.D., R.N., from University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and colleagues used the 12-point Activity Mobilization Evaluation Scale and delirium prevention bundle in three medical-surgical ICUs to track patient mobilization progress with the use of exercise physiologists. The authors sought to assess the effectiveness of exercise physiologists in promoting and providing aggressive and progressive early mobilization.

Eighty-two percent of patients admitted to the ICU during the study period received the mobilization intervention. The researchers found that most of the 216 included patients achieved a 1.6-point change in activity level via the intervention. After receiving a minimum of one session with an exercise physiologist (mean, 3.5 sessions per day), almost all of the study population (97 percent) maintained or increased the level of activity during the three-month study period.

"Our study demonstrates that adding exercise physiologists to the interdisciplinary team can drive early, aggressive and progressive ICU patient mobility," Smith said in a statement.

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