Intensive Care Patients Can Benefit From Physical MedicineLast Updated: September 23, 2009. Efforts to prevent neuromuscular complications after critical illness can begin in intensive care as soon as a patient is physiologically stabilized, according to a study in the October issue of Critical Care Medicine.
WEDNESDAY, Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Efforts to prevent neuromuscular complications after critical illness can begin in intensive care as soon as a patient is physiologically stabilized, according to a study in the October issue of Critical Care Medicine.
Dale M. Needham, M.D., of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues write that physical medicine and rehabilitation-related technology, such as neuromuscular electrical stimulation therapy can be provided at the bedside of an intensive care patient. This therapy uses low-voltage electrical impulses through skin electrodes placed over the muscles where therapy is targeted.
Such treatments could particularly benefit patients who are considered high-risk for muscle weakness, the researchers explain. Patients who are either sedated or awake can be treated with bedside cycle ergometry to strengthen muscles and help preserve muscle architecture, the authors note, adding that technological aids custom-designed to assist with ambulation for the mechanically ventilated patient would help reduce the manpower involved.
"Neuromuscular electrical stimulation and cycle ergometry may be especially valuable as a component of early rehabilitation during the acute phase of critical illness, where sedation and immobilization may limit patients' ability to participate in active rehabilitation interventions," the authors write. "Given the unique challenges presented by critically ill patients and the intensive care unit environment, the novel application of these technologies in the intensive care unit requires further evaluation to confirm safety, feasibility, and efficacy."
|Previous: Simplified System Reduces Overtriage in Trauma Patients||Next: Smoking Associated With Lupus Erythematosus|
Reader comments on this article are listed below. Review our comments policy.