ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Acupuncture Eases Breast Cancer Treatment Side Effects
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Put Your Best Foot Forward Next Year
Tequila Plant May Help Fight Bone Loss
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
CANCER
More Americans Urged to Get Cancer Screenings
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
Yoga Eases Sleep Problems Among Cancer Survivors
CAREGIVING
Moms Who Breast-Feed Less Likely to Neglect Child
High Rate of Rehospitalizations Costing Billions
Diabetes Epidemic Now Poses Challenges for Nursing Homes
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
DIABETES
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
DIET, NUTRITION
Eating Less May Slow Aging Process
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Compound in Red Wine Fights Ravages of Age
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
FDA Faulted for Stance on Chemical in Plastics
Meat-Eating Dinosaurs Used Legs and Arms Like Birds
Sunken, Unexploded Bombs Pose Cancer Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Stem Cells Repair Damaged Corneas in Mice
Hybrid Cars Pose Risk to Blind, Visually Impaired
Glaucoma Treatment Can Prevent Blindness
FITNESS
Simple Steps Get Walkers Moving
Higher Fitness Levels Tied to Lower Heart, Death Risks
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
Good Sleepers More Likely to Eat Right
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Omega-3, Some Omega-6 Fatty Acids Boost Cardiovascular Health
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
Arteries Age Twice as Fast in Smokers
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
Exercise Eases Obesity and Anger in Kids
MEN'S HEALTH
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Countdown to Hair Loss
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
How to Attack Holiday Stress Head-On
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
SENIORS
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Rapid Weight Loss in Seniors Signals Higher Dementia Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Therapies for Menopause
Being Active an Hour a Day Puts Brakes on Weight Gain
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Add your Article

Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients

THURSDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- Interrupting the sedation of critically ill patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) to engage them in brief physical therapy may lead to better outcomes, a new study suggests.

As noted by researchers writing in the May 13 online edition of The Lancet, weakness and neuropsychiatric disease are often complications of the immobilization caused by long-term sedation in the ICU.

The new randomized, controlled trial involved 104 patients who were on mechanical ventilators for less than 72 hours but were expected to continue on ventilation for another 24 hours. A team led by Dr. John Kress of the University of Chicago assigned 49 of the patients to daily interruption of sedation and early exercise and mobilization, while the other 55 patients received standard care.

The team then tracked patients after discharge for signs of "independent functional status" -- the ability to walk unaided and carry out six tasks of daily living.

According to the Chicago researchers, 59 percent of those who got the early exercise achieved that functional milestone over four weeks of follow-up, compared to 35 percent in the standard care group. Early physical therapy also cut the rate of delirium episodes in half and reduced the number of days in which patients required a ventilator.

"A strategy for whole-body rehabilitation -- consisting of interruption of sedation and physical and occupational therapy in the earliest days of critical illness -- was safe and well-tolerated, and resulted in better functional outcomes at hospital discharge, a shorter duration of delirium, and more ventilator-free days compared with standard care," the researchers wrote.

Writing in an accompanying commentary, Dr. Stephan M. Jakob and Dr. Jukka Takala, of University Hospital, Switzerland, noted that "exercise should have a central role in the treatment of critically ill patients... Although physiotherapy is commonly administered to patients in intensive care during recovery from critical illness in the USA, the frequency and type of physiotherapy greatly varies between the type of hospital and clinical scenarios."

More information

There's more on care in the ICU at the Society of Critical Care Medicine.



-- E.J. Mundell



SOURCE: The Lancet, news release, May 13, 2009

Last Updated: May 14, 2009

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